Sergiu Tofilat about alleged debts to Gazprom: It’s a conflict between shareholders

A team of energy experts and jurists is preparing a strategy that will include the official Chisinau’s actions regarding the debts invoked by Gazprom, said energy expert Sergiu Tofilat, a member of Moldovagaz’s Supervisory Board. According to the expert, Moldova cannot sue Gazprom in an international arbitration court, but the subject of the debts to Moldovagaz will be examined in national courts as a conflict between the shareholders of this company, IPN reports.

Sergiu Tofilat said that on the platform of the Supervisory Board of Moldovagaz, there is no direct communication with representatives of Gazprom. The Russian company insists on the payment of the debts of Moldovagaz, but Chisinau cannot accept this.

“The Supervisory Board meets once a month. With Gazprom we discuss through emails, ballots and separate opinions. That’s pretty much the whole discussion with Gazprom. Now the budget must be approved. The gas debt is also reflected there and we obviously cannot accept figures with which we disagree. We have to defend our interest now that the international audit report was completed, which I would equate with the Kroll report - it’s a kind of diagnosis what to do and how to apply the treatment. We are preparing, with a small team, a strategy regarding our future actions,” Sergiu Tofilat stated in the program “Reflection Points” on Vocea Basarabiei station.

Sergiu Tofilat noted that Moldova’s representatives in the Supervisory Board of Moldovagaz will sue Gazprom and the dispute will be between the shareholders of this company. He is, however, skeptical about the quality of justice in Moldova, noting that cases referring to obvious energy frauds were previously closed.

“We cannot go to an arbitration court with claims, but, based on Moldovagaz’s statute, we can examine this situation as a conflict between shareholders. And we can appeal in courts of the Republic of Moldova. But what concerns me most here is the quality of justice. It is known that the cases related to the frauds at Moldovagaz were, of course, closed or ‘pickled’. And this does not depend on Gazprom.  These are cases of the Prosecutor’s Office and the NAC,” said the energy expert.

Earlier, Minister of Energy Victor Parlicov announced that of the alleged debt of US$756 million invoked by Gazprom, the largest part of the amount was not confirmed by the international audit, and the Government of Moldova is ready to pay only US$8.6 million dollars.

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