Gazprom stops supplying gas to Moldova

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

The Russian concern Gazprom stopped supplying gas to Moldova on January 1, as the latter did not sign a gas supply contract, which stipulates a price of 160 dollars per 1,000 cubic metres for the next three months, according to officials of Chisinau and Russian concern Gazprom.

In connection with this situation, Vladimir Voronin, current president of Moldova, cancelled his winter vacation and created on Monday, 2 January, an anti-crisis group, composed of the representatives of the cabinet and SA Moldova-Gaz.

At the moment, Moldova is ensured gas from Ukraine, in proportion of 50%, according to an agreement between Voronin and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yushchenko.

The head of the Moldovan state stated that, theoretically, he agrees to accept the market prices of gas, but, pursuant to him, these must be "logical and not illusory”.

Moldova will continue negotiations with Gazprom. An operative staff on energy security headed by Minister Vladimir Antosii was created for this purpose.

Chisinau officials say that an agreement on transit of Russian gas through Moldova should be signed on January 3, and an agreement on new prices was expected to be signed later. The situation in Moldova, which does not have other gas sources, is unique, as 15 percent of the natural gas supplies of Russia are transited to the West through Moldova's territory. Negotiators have recently agreed in Moscow on a transit price of 2.5 dollars for transportation of 1,000 cubic metres on a distance of 100 kilometres.