Former Parliament Deputy Speaker Alexandru Slusari said the non-reimbursable financial assistance offered by the EU shows once again that ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’. Representatives of the Government said the money provided by the EU will go to compensate residential users for the eventual higher tariffs, IPN reports.
The representatives of the Government noted they do not yet have information about the negotiations between Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spînu and Gazprom head Alexei Miller. It is yet certain that Moldova will not accept to pay the debts claimed by the Russian gas giant until an international audit to this effect is not conducted.
“It is evident that the goal of the visit to Brussels was to identify resources. We buy natural gas at higher prices now, but the tariffs for residential consumers will not be modified and the difference in prices should be subsidized by the state. In the talks with Gazprom, the Russian side insists on the repayment of the historical debts, while the Republic of Moldova asks for an audit on this segment,” PAS MP Vladimir Bolea noted in the program “Secrets of the Power” on JurnalTV channel.
“The Republic of Moldova applied a good tactic to push the game towards the last round. The contract expires in several days. The payment of these invented or real debts in which the penalty is the main component is the condition on which the Kremlin insists. It seems that the penalty is fictional. The second condition of the Kremlin is related to the Third Energy Package as Gazprom would have to concede the Moldovan piping network,” said political commentator Roman Mihăeș.
Ex-Deputy Speaker Alexandru Slusari said the steps taken by the government to manage the energy crisis are late. The lack of a contract for a definite period of time with Gazprom will represent a serious financial blow to the state budget.
“This support from the European Union is welcome. We now convinced ourselves that ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’. If the discussions had started in August, the situation would have been better now and we could have avoided a state of emergency with the openness and support of the European Union and Romania. If the conflict with Russia persists and Termoelectrica has to work on fuel oil throughout winter, we will need 2 billion lei during five months, judging by the market prices of fuel oil. We must realize that we need a lot of money for a confrontation with Russia,” stated Alexandru Slusari.
Journalists consider the authorities’ communication in times of a crisis is defective, while the lack of transparency leaves room for speculations when the price paid by Moldova for gas supplied from alternative sources is not made known.
“The Government’s communication during the energy crisis is disorderly and slightly defective. We realize that we are in an exceptional situation, but it goes to the country’s energy security. There is no command center that would provide the minimum necessary amount of information. We see several platoons. The political coverage is ensured by President Sandu and the minister of foreign affairs. Spînu and Kulminski are directly involved in talks and we have the technical team that fulfills orders from above. It seems that there is no command center that would collect information from everyone and would pass it on. Transparency in the way the money is spent should be ensured,” said journalist Dumitru Ciorici.
In a press release, the Russian gas giant Gazprom said the negotiations on the supply of natural gas to the Republic of Moldova “continued”, reminding that the current contract expires at the end of this month. It is not mentioned if the chairman of the Management Board of Gazprom Alexei Miller and Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spînu reached a consensus for overcoming the energy crisis.