The war in Ukraine keeps Moldova’s relations with Gazprom in the shadow. Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spînu said that no response was provided to the last three letters sent by the Moldovan authorities to the Russian gas company. The Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development considers the maintaining of the current contract with Gazprom is the most optimistic scenario for Moldova, while the need for Moldova to purchase natural gas from the international market would be the worst development, IPN reports.
The official noted that even if the natural gas rates are now high, the current contract with Gazprom is the most advantageous solution. Discussions with Azeri officials are being held to consider the possibilities of buying natural gas from Azerbaijan.
“We have the best offer on the natural gas market at the moment, even if we realize that the price is high for many citizens. We now see that the price of gas in summer is higher than it was in winter sometimes. The Republic of Moldova has real chances of purchasing natural gas from Azerbaijan. We can ultimately diversify the gas supply sources. I do not want to name periods, but I can assure you that the Republic of Moldova during the next few years will have diversified sources of gas,” Andrei Spînu stated in the program “Black Box” on TV8 channel.
The Deputy Prime Minister noted that the authorities already prepare for the cold season of the year and store natural gas. A part of the stored gas is bought with state budget funds, while for the rest of the volumes the state will borrow money from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
“Based on the decision of the Commission for Exceptional Situations, Energocom managed to buy 24 million cubic meters of gas that is already the property of Energocom. The volumes were bought at the price at which gas was purchased in February and March. It is a very good price. In summer these volumes will be enough for a month, while in winter for a week only. For the gas reserves we plan for August, we are having final discussions with the EBRD, for raising a loan of 300 million. A part of the money will go to make urgent purchases, while another part will go on storage. But the gas reserves we are making at present are not for immediate use. They will be stored and used in the cold period of the year,” said Andrei Spînu.
The gas rate in Moldova as from June 1 is 18.62 lei per cubic meter. The official noted the rates can be reviewed only if the purchase price of gas follows a downward trend.
“If we have a lower price for July, August and September according to the Moldovagaz-Gazprom formula, the rates can be reviewed. The optimistic plan is to maintain the current contract with Gazprom. The pessimistic plan is to buy gas from the market. Experiencing serious difficulties related to the transit networks is a pessimistic scenario. Another pessimistic scenario is for Gazprom to halt the supply of gas to Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and other states. Gazprom didn’t respond to any of our last three letters,” stated the Deputy Prime Minister.
On Monday, Moldovagaz announced that the debts for the natural gas supplied by it to household users, legal entities and budget-funded organizations in January-April total 112 million lei. To avoid disconnections from the supply of natural gas, Moldovagaz called on the consumers to pay the bills on time.