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22 Oct, 2021 11:42

Moldova on verge of declaring STATE OF EMERGENCY over gas shortages, officials say, as talks with Russia to secure supplies stall

Moldova on verge of declaring STATE OF EMERGENCY over gas shortages, officials say, as talks with Russia to secure supplies stall

Moldova could soon deploy emergency measures to deal with a growing crisis in its energy sector, after Chisinau reported that negotiations with Russia's state gas giant in an effort to get hold of more supplies were inconclusive.

On Friday, the Eastern European nation’s Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita said that officials will soon convene to discuss the impending gas crisis.

“Today the government will hold a meeting, after which it will ask the parliament to declare a state of emergency in the country due to the gas crisis. This will allow bypassing certain procedures stipulated by the law in order to speed up the purchase of gas from alternative sources,” she said.

Also on rt.com Moldova enters state of alert over natural gas shortage as Chișinău looks to sign new long-term contract with Russia’s Gazprom

Gavrilita also commented on Chisinau’s efforts to secure an expanded deal with Russian gas giant Gazprom, saying that the negotiations were inconclusive and “there is no confidence” that an agreement will be made.

Last week, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu revealed that Moldova was looking to make deals with Romania, Ukraine and Russia in order to curb the current crisis, which is seeing consumption overtake imports. On top of this, Moldova’s problem of lack of gas deposits means it needs to import all of the gas it requires.

Moldova and Gazprom have made little progress in extending their agreement because of qualms over the proposed price of $790 per 1,000 cubic meters. Chisinau has insisted it will hold out for a better deal, despite the cost being cheaper than buying from the EU’s reserves. The current contract, which sees gas prices at $200 per 1,000 cubic meters, expired at the end of September. A temporary one-month extension, at the higher spot price, was agreed upon while negotiations continue.

As one of the poorest countries in Europe with an economy that relies heavily on agriculture, Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu said on Monday that the prices are “not justified and not realistic for Moldova.”

On Tuesday, Gavrilita announced that the country’s officials were visiting European nations to seek alternative gas deals via Romania amidst “unlikely” negotiations with Gazprom.

“Deputy Prime Minister [Andrei] Spinu is in Poland, Foreign Affairs Minister Nicu Popescu is also in several states to resolve the gas problem. Deputy Prime Minister Kulminski is helping as best he can [in the talks with Russia],” she said.

Although Moldova its likely to declare a state of emergency, the country’s PM has also said that she is hopeful that a gas deal, either with Gazprom or EU states, will be signed within a month.

“There are certain details related to the negotiation process with the Russian Federation, which at the moment cannot be made public, but will be announced at the right time. I am sure that by the end of the month an agreement will be signed either with Gazprom or with other suppliers and the country will cope with the situation,” she said.

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