Nicu Popescu: Contract with Gazprom does not prevent us from implementing Third Energy Package

It was for the first time in the history of the Republic of Moldova that the Government negotiated with Gazprom from an advantageous position, the country being abler to purchase gas from alternative sources, said Deputy Prime Minister Nicu Popescu. According to him, the contract with Gazprom does not prevent the Republic of Moldova from implementing some of the Third Energy Package’s provisions concerning the liberalization of the energy market, IPN reports.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Nicu Popescu said no political or geopolitical conditions were agreed with the Russian Federation before signing the contract with Gazprom. All the commitments undertaken by Moldova are stipulated in the protocol that was annexed to the contract with Gazprom and this document was made public by the Government of the Republic of Moldova.

“The protocol stipulates not geopolitical conditions, but particular actions that should be taken and they are not necessarily economic or financial in character. The convocation of the intergovernmental commission is not a financial request. It is a commitment that should be fulfilled by the new Government. The commitment not to immediately reform and restructure Moldovagaz implies amendments to the law on natural gas.  The implementation of the commitment concerning the Third Energy Package was put off for several times for the same reason as this year – the lack of alternative sources of gas – and this generated constraints,” Nicu Popescu stated in the program “Black Box” on TV8 channel.

Under the protocol signed with Gazprom, the Republic of Moldova will refrain from restructuring Moldovagaz until the debts accumulated by the right bank of the Nistru are fully cleared. Moldova also undertook to organize an international audit that will show how Moldovagaz accumulated its debts.

“Measures can be taken to strengthen and improve energy security, but they can be implemented without immediately restructuring Moldovagaz. It was for the first time in the history of the Republic of Moldova that the Government negotiated with Gazprom from a different position after identifying practical ways of purchasing gas from other sources,” stated Nicu Popescu.

The contract for the purchase of gas with the Russian gas giant Gazprom is valid for a five-year period. In accordance with this, Moldova must pay for the gas consumed the previous month and a 50% advance for the current month by the date of 20 of each month.

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