Composition of Moldovan delegation with Gazprom is unclear

As it was announced previously, a delegation of Moldova, lead by prime deputy prime minister Zinaida Grecianâi, left on Monday, 27 February, to Moscow, where shall start the negotiations regarding the conclusion of a new contract of Russian gas import. The information was confirmed by many bodies, even other data on negotiations are still unclear, contrary to promises given to media by prime minister Vasile Tarlev regarding the operative and transparent mirror of problems of major interest by state structures. Being asked about the composition of the delegation, the person responsible for press of the Ministry of Economics and Commerce, Ala Betisor said that in the delegation also is included the minister of economics, Valeriu Lazar. In the same time the head of the Gas and Energy Resources Department within the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure, Mihai Dolma said that Lazar left for another visit. He mentioned that the minister of industry could not leave for Moscow, as he was in another visit. Dolma could said for sure only about the visit of Zinaida Grecianai and of the manager of Moldova Gaz, Ghenadi Abaskin. Other responsible persons in natural gas issue could be not found till the news was disseminated. Because of lack of new data, press is forced to satisfy the need of the population to be informed another way. Previously, the minister of economics and commerce, Valeriu Lazar said that it’s wished a less price than the existent one, but the government will insist on keeping it. In the same time, the experts consider that it will not be managed to keep the current price, the latter one, in their opinion, could get to 160 dollars/1000 cubic meters. Till now, the economic analyst, Veaceslav Ionita, thought that Moldova would manage to keep the import price at the level of the existent one, or even to decrease it, now he is less optimist in this regard. Analysing the actions and the statements of the officials of Chisinau, Ionita concluded that after 1 April the import price could vary between 110-160 dollars, with tendencies to 160 dollars. Gazprom, the economic analyst noted, links the maintaining the price to cede the property of Moldova Gaz. According to independent municipal counsellor, Mihai Roscovan, director of Business Consulting Institute, without serious ceding in favour of Russian company „Gazprom”, it will not be managed to keep the current gas price, that’s why „we have to be ready for a worse situation.” Mihai Roscovan considered that the government should fight to keep this price till the end of the year, and it not to cede the shares of company „Moldova Gaz”. From economic point of view, the price of 110 dollars/1000 cubic meters is rather good for „Gazprom”, and Moldova has the right to insist on it, but Russia wants more than market economic relations, namely political subordination, he mentioned. Negotiations with Russian Federation regarding gas import should develop, according to manager Business Consulting Institute, as transparent as possible in order to prepare the population and businessmen and to prevent a social-economic shock. According to gas supply contract, concluded on 16 January 2006, Russian company Gazprom will deliver to Moldova natural gas, in the first quarter of this year, at a price of 110 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters, compared to 80 dollars – until 1 January 2006. as a result, the average tariff to natural gas for the first quarter of this year increased with 37.2% compared to the existent one.

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