We have a harmful contract with Gazprom and we now reap the harvest, opinions

The exorbitant purchase price of gas for August raised again the necessity of negotiating the contract with Gazprom. Representatives of the extraparliamentary opposition accuse the government of negotiating a harmful contract that is detrimental to the citizens of the Republic of Moldova. For their part, representatives of the government said the agreement with Gazprom is exclusively commercial and does not imply political concessions on the part of Chisinau, as it happened under the previous governments, IPN reports.

The extraparliamentary opposition said the huge price paid now by Moldova for gas is a consequence of the negotiating team’s incapacity to obtain an advantageous price for the country. The representatives of the Party “Dignity and Truth Platform” (PPPDA) said that Chisinau constantly concedes to Tiraspol and pays a very high price for gas to Moscow.

“In the negotiations, they should have honestly said that if strictly economic aspects were addressed, no concession would be offered to the Transnistrian region. What do we see instead? They tell us that no political concessions were made, but the steel works got its environmental permit renewed. Furthermore, as a new permit was offered to the concrete plant of the Transnistrian region, our plant Macon risks being closed owing to unfair competition. In these negotiations, we accepted all their conditions and still support the Russian Federation by paying for gas,” the representative of PPPDA Liviu Vovc stated in the program “Expertise Hour” on JurnalTV channel.

Ex-MP Iurie Reniță said the team of negotiators didn’t play the card of the Transnistrian region sufficiently ably so as to force Russia offer us an advantageous gas price.

“Russia is an unpredictable partner from all viewpoints, especially from energy viewpoint. This area is a real political cudgel aimed at subduing states and strengthening the sphere of influence of Russia. Evidently, we see a unique international situation, but when you go to sign a very disadvantageous contract with Gazprom and come home and present it as an accomplishment, the harvest is reaped then. When they negotiated with the Russians, why didn’t they raise the issue of the Transnistrian region? As long as Russia formally accepts the integrity of the Republic of Moldova, they should have insisted on equal treatment for all the country’s citizens. We still have the classical fear not to anger Moscow. They should have said that the gas should be supplied at the same price for all the citizens of the Republic of Moldova,” said ex-MP Iurie Reniță.

“It is easy to say that Moldova can impose conditions on Moscow when we do not know very well with who the negotiations were held in Moscow - with Kozak who has over 20 years’ experience in the administrative bodies of Russia and we, a state with a government formed several month ago, go to impose conditions on Kozak. I doubt that we could have imposed conditions on Moscow and discussed on equal terms with them from the position in which we are. They have rich experience and know very well our weaknesses. The fact that political concessions were ultimately made is appreciable,” said the expert of the Institute for European Policies and Reforms Mihai Mogîldea.

For their part, the representatives of the government said the agreement signed with Russia is strictly commercial and the high purchase price of gas is a consequence of the war in Ukraine and of the exceptional situation on the international energy market. The state will partially subsidize the gas rates for the citizens with low incomes.

“We see an exorbitant rise in prices at international stock exchanges. It is a consequence of the war in Ukraine and of the energy war waged by Russia on the whole Europe. This has an impact on us too. What we undertake to do is to implement a subsidization program in winter. In summer, the price affects the producers, but the household users do not pay considerably. This price is felt, but not so much. In winter, we will provide subsidies, regardless of the increases in the prices on the international market, so that the people pay a sum similar to that paid last winter. This will evidently exert pressure on the budget,” said PAS MP Adrian Băluțel.

Yesterday, the president of Moldovagaz Vadim Ceban announced that in August Moldova will pay US$
1,458.5 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas purchased from Gazprom, as opposed to US$980 paid in July.

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