The Committee for Unity and Welfare (CUB) demands that all the state functionaries who in 2021 negotiated the contract for the supply of natural gas should be investigated on charges of intentional undermining of the national economy and supporting of separatism. Representatives of the Committee said the supply of natural gas to the consumers who do not pay their debts from the eastern districts, named territory occupied by a separatist regime, should be immediately halted and the debts accumulated by the left side of the Nistru, which cannot be attributed to the household or industrial users from the Republic of Moldova or to the public debt, should be explicitly denounced.
CUB demands that the Government’s representatives in the Administration Board of Moldovagaz should collect the debts accumulated by the consumers from the separatist region and should compensate for the losses sustained by the consumers from the right side of the Nistru due to the exaggerated natural gas rates and manipulative methodologies following the signing of those new amendments to the contract with Gazprom (2021), the director of the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives “Viitorul” Igor Munteanu, who is one of the founders of CUB, stated in a news conference hosted by IPN.
The modification of the composition of the Government’s representatives in the Administration Board of Moldovagaz, institution of public control over the state policies and modification of the legislation on natural gas in accordance with the law adopted on the electrical energy market at the beginning of this year are also among the demands formulated by CUB.
Economist Veaceslav Ioniță, who is a CUB member, said that the natural gas rate during a year grew over six times, which is similar to the growth for the last 20 years. Consequently, the population’s purchasing power decreased to the lowest level in history. There is no certainty as to the future gas supplies. In the contract, Gazprom said that it does not supply gas to the left side of the Nistru. If it wants to do this, Moldova can do it as this is exclusively within its remit. Economic and legal clarity over the debt was ensured. It is clearly stipulated that Moldovagaz will fully pay for the supplied gas, including the left side of the Nistru. During one year alone, the Transnistrian side accumulated gas debts totaling about US$1.14 billion.
Galina Bostan, director of the Center for the Analysis and Prevention of Corruption, noted that the last page of the annex contains the signature of a particular E. Burmistrova. This name is also among those who form part of the Administration Board of Moldovagaz. If this is one and the same person, this is a conflict of interest. In accordance with the Law on Integrity, this contract can be nullified. If such “blunders” exist, Moldovagaz probably does not have anticorruption instruments.
Ex-ambassador Igor Klipii said the eventual supply of the regime from the left side of the Nistru with fuel in facilitated conditions can have security consequences for Moldova. If an anti-constitutional regime (left side of the Nistru) is involved, the commercial secret cannot be invoked and the contract should be made public.
Mihai Beregoi, specialist in public order and security, stated the private individuals try to adjust to the new conditions generated by the gas prices, but the businesses are also considerably affected. Owing to the high gas prices, the cost of services will grow and the people will suffer again. Therefore, public disorder can arise. The Government should have a roadmap to this effect.
Rodica Gramma, specialist in public health policies, said that owing to the high gas prices, the population can reduce the costs for food, medicines and this can lead to disease and to an increase in the number of persons going to medical institutions. The health facilities also experience difficulties in paying the bills but the supply of heat cannot be halted when there are patients in intensive care. The Government should have a clear strategy for preparing the medical institutions for the cold season.
“Even if we are solidary with all the citizens of the Republic of Moldova, we cannot agree with the argument invoked by the senior authorities as regards the eventuality of a humanitarian crisis on the left side of the Nistru if Moldovagaz stops supplying natural gas to the left side of the Nistru if it does not receive the payments for consumption in advance. The argument is false and inappropriate for the market economy rules, especially when the end users from the right side of the Nistru pay a natural gas price that is 30 times higher. A summary analysis of the revenues gained by the Transnistrian region the past year shows that this is able to fulfill the payment obligations without great effort. This way, out of the accumulated debt of US$1.14 billion for gas, we can retain the revenues obtained by the Steel Works from laminate exports totaling about US$500 million, US$180 million from the exports of the Moldovan Power Plant, US$100 million from other companies operating in the industrial sector, plus the population’s consumption at a fair price,” says a press release issued by CUB.
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