Agreement between Moldova and Gazprom to extend the gas contract. They have agreed on a price scale and an audit of the debt contracted with Moscow. Russian gas supply should resume on November 1.
A week ago, due to gas shortages, the Moldovan Parliament declared a state of emergency. After the debt skyrocketed, the country did not recognize the amount of the claims.
The agreement was the result of three days of arduous negotiations in Saint Petersburg between Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and a delegation from the Moldovan government.
Miller, Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Andréi Spinu and the head of the Moldovagaz state company, Vadim Cheban, signed the corresponding settlement protocol for the gas dispute.
The agreement ends a crisis that forced the Moldovan authorities to declare a state of emergency a week ago due to supply shortages.
Gazprom explained today in a statement that the new contract contains “mutually beneficial conditions.”
Meanwhile, the government of the poorest country in Europe specified that both parties had reached an agreement on the gas price formula according to the Moldovan proposal.
Without going into details, he indicated that the rate will be established each quarter depending on the price of oil and gas in the previous nine months.
Gazprom demanded 790 dollars for every thousand cubic meters, several times more than the previous rate, while Chisinau did not want to pay more than 300 dollars.
As reported by the Moldovan government on Facebook, a consensus was also reached regarding the need for an audit on the historical debt contracted by the country with the gas consortium.
The Russian giant demanded the payment of 709 million dollars as a condition for signing a new contract starting in November, a debt that Moldova refused to recognize until its exact amount was known through an official audit.
In addition, Gazprom even threatened to cut off the gas tap to the country on December 1 if it did not commit to pay off its debt within three years.
The local press reported a last Russian proposal with a 25% discount in the price, in case of payment of the debt, but the Moldovan side rejected it, considering that the offer was not “profitable”.
The Moldovan president, the European Maia Sandu, had blamed the crisis on the “anomalous” gas prices demanded by Gazprom, but also on the corruption of her predecessors in office for being unable to reduce the energy dependence of the northern giant.
In an attempt to keep pressure on its pipelines, Moldova was forced to launch an international tender this week and buy gas from Polish, Ukrainian, Dutch and Swiss companies.
In addition, it received 60 million euros from the European Union during Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita’s visit to Brussels.
The high representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, accused Gazprom on Thursday of using gas as a political tool of pressure on Moldova.
The suspension of gas supply to Moldova would also have left the separatist region of Transnistria without fuel, supported politically and economically by the Kremlin.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.