European country hikes gas prices – Reuters
The National Agency for Energy Regulation of Moldova (ANRE) on Friday approved an increase in gas prices for consumers of almost 30% starting from October, Reuters reports.
According to the news outlet, prices will be raised from 23 Moldovan lei ($1.18) per cubic meter to 29.27 Moldovan lei ($1.51). The increase will affect both private household and industrial consumers.
Moldova’s gas distributor, Moldovagaz, had asked the regulator to raise tariffs by 31.5% due to a significant increase in purchase prices.
Last October, Russia’s Gazprom and Moldovagaz extended their long-term gas supply agreement for five more years until September 2026. However, Moldovagaz, which is majority owned by Gazprom, has been struggling to meet its payment commitments to the Russian supplier since prices under the contract rose sharply this year. On Monday, the company announced that it had paid in full for August supplies and was working to ensure advance payment for September.
Moldova, a former Soviet republic of 2.6 million people sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania, relies heavily on Russian gas. The authorities have been urging households to reduce gas consumption as much as possible, as prices have jumped almost sevenfold since the start of the year. The skyrocketing energy costs have also pushed annual inflation to record highs of over 30%.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita warned that Moldova’s economy could face a double shock of a Russian gas cutoff and “extraordinarily high” energy prices this winter. The government has even launched a website to help citizens find firewood to heat their homes.
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