Moldova’s debts for gas issue can be settled by this yearend
The problem of Moldova’s debts for natural gas delivered by the Russian gas giant “Gazprom” could be solved by the end of this year, official representative of “Gazprom” Serghei Kuprianov told Echo Moskvy radio station. As he says, the negotiations regarding the cooperation with the Moldovan side in 2007 are continuing in January, including debates on historical debts. Kuprianov has cited the tough policy that “Gazprom” runs in connection with the gas supplies to the ex-soviet countries, mentioning that as concerns the payments, they must be carried out with regularity, regardless of the increase in price. In connection with historical debts, Kuprianov mentioned Moldova had one of the largest. Head of “Moldova-Gaz” JSC, Ghenadie Abaschin has recently announced at a press conference that Transnistria’s debt for gas amounts to about USD 1.14 bln at present. Premier Vasile Tarlev earlier stated that the current debt of the consumers on the right bank of the Dniester was of USD 220 mln. Abaschin says that “Gazprom” is negotiating for Transnistria’s share, but for the being time Moldova did not accept this proposal. Abaschin specified that Tiraspol agreed to give up the 13% stock in the enterprise to the advantage of the Russian company. Thus, “Gazprom” could hold 64% of the shares of “Moldova-Gaz” JSC. According to one of the clauses of the five-year contract signed on December 30 with the Russian gas giant “Gazprom”, the tariff on gas will gradually go up 10-15 percent next years, depending on the price of fuel on international market. By 2011, the tariff on gas, according to the preliminary estimates, should reach USD 250 per one thousand cubic metres. In 2007, Moldova will pay for gas to the Russian concern USD 170 per one thousand cubic metres.