Only EU and USA could make Russia maintain current natural gas price for Moldova. IPN interview with economist Viorel Chivriga

[- In your opinion, what will be the new price for Russian natural gas for Moldova, taking into consideration the fact that Moldovan authorities already recognized that negotiations are carried out difficultly? Is there any chance to keep the present price?] Probably the price for gas will be the one proposed by the Russian side, in other words of 160 USD per one thousand cube meters. Regretfully, Moldovan authorities have little possibilities to maintain the present price of 110 USD, in force till June 1. At the present stage, only the European Union and USA can influence Russia to maintain this price for Moldova. Giving up to some proprieties, as well as to several actions to settle the Transnistrian conflict, might also contribute to keeping the price, still at a smaller extent. [- After signing the last contract with Gazprom there were talks about some compromises, due to which Russia could keep the present price for natural gases and now Moscow has another position. Why?] I believe that Russia tries to promote the G8 country statute and it includes automatically that it has to be more tolerant with poor countries. Thus, I consider that the talks with the Russian side led to some compromises, due to which the price increased only by 30 USD per 1000 cube meters and was not doubled, as the Russian part insisted. [- What is your opinion about the negotiations of the Moldovan Government with Gazprom, about their transparency, in particular?] Of course, there is no total transparency in the negotiation process with Gazprom. As far as I know, the negations of the Russian Concern with the authorities of other states regarding the signing of natural gas deliveries contracts also were not fully transparent. [- In case the price for gas will be increased up to the level set for European countries, what will be the impact of the increase over the national economy and population?] The economy will not have to suffer much, because we do not have too many industries using gas. Still, the population will be seriously affected, especially the population from the rural zones or small towns, which use natural gas for heating. I consider that it is necessary to oversee the tariff policy. A solution would be passing to a special 2-3 years tariff policy, and afterwards returning to appropriate tariffs.

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