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Moldova declares state of emergency.

Image Credit: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

The Moldovan government declares a state of emergency for 30 days after Russian company Gazprom threatened that it will cut off gas supply to the country if it failed to pay its bill of $709 million (610 million euros) and sign a new contract. Moldova, a country of 2.6 million, is attempting to secure natural gas from Europe after Russia, which has been its traditional supplier, raised its prices. It gets its natural gas supplies from the pro-Russian separatist region of Ukraine and Transnistria.

It’s current contract ended in September, but was later extended to October. Gazprom official Sergei Kupriyanov said that if Moldova does not pay its bill and sign a new contract all gas supplies to the country from the company will be halted as from December.

If payment for gas supplies is not fully paid and a contract is not signed from December, then Gazprom will halt gas supplies to Moldova.

Gazprom official Sergei Kupriyanov

Gazprom increased its natural gas prices by more than 40% to $790 per thousand cubic meters from $550. The Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu said that the current prices are not realistic for the country of Moldova which is the poorest country in Europe. Last Friday, Moldovan Prime Minster Natalia Gavrilita said that despite the contract being extended to October, they were receiving a third of the usual gas supply in the month of October. She said that they are attempting to secure natural gas from Europe and thanked Ukraine and Romania for providing some gas.

The one month state of emergency will hopefully be enough for the Moldovan utility company Energocom to secure natural gas from other countries.

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