Energy experts say gas will be, but price is unclear

Energy experts are confident that the Republic of Moldova will not remain without natural gas this year. According to them, the volumes needed by our country are not a problem for Gazprom, while the Russian officials intentionally delay the signing of a contract for the purchase of gas as they want senior decision makers from Moldova to become involved, IPN reports.

According to the experts, this year Moldova is in a more advantageous position as the diversified gas infrastructure enables to make purchases of gas from other states. In the current international conjuncture, the rise in gas tariffs for residential and industrial consumers is inevitable.

“Energy crises were also experienced in 2004, 2009, 2019, but the negotiations then centered on one line. Now the negotiations are held on a number of dimensions, also because we now have gas infrastructure that enables us to have discussions with Romania, Poland. It’s clear that we will have natural gas, but the price of this is not clear,” energy expert Ion Muntean said in the talk show “Moldova Live” on the public TV channel M1.

“Gazprom has gas and surely can supply the 30 million cubic meters needed by the Republic of Moldova. Capacity to transport gas via Ukraine exists. Furthermore, since 2011 the Republic of Moldova has paid the average European price of gas. We didn’t enjoy discounts, concessions, preferential treatment. Until now we paid a fair price. The fact that Gazprom refuses to supply particular volume of gas ahead of winter can affect the long-term contracts with this company,” said energy expert Victor Parlicov.

For their part, political commentators consider the current team of Moldovan negotiators only agrees technical aspects of the future contract with Gazprom, but a final decision will be taken when Premier Natalia Gavrilița or President Maia Sandu become involved in the talks.

“A meeting between high-ranking officials hasn’t been yet held. I think they are now discussing the technical conditions, but the Russian side hasn’t yet played all its trump cards and delays these discussions by not offering the necessary quantities of gas. Meanwhile, the Russian side is waiting for the Moldovan officials, primarily President Maia Sandu, to become involved,” said political commentator Corneliu Ciurea.

A nationwide state of alert in the energy sector was declared in Moldova on October 14. Fuel oil from state reserves is now used to produce electricity and heat. The authorities are preparing a mechanism for compensating end users if the gas tariff is raised.

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