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29 Oct, 2021 17:12

Gazprom open to striking deal with Moldova over new gas contract, Moscow says, after Russia insists country must pay old debts

Gazprom open to striking deal with Moldova over new gas contract, Moscow says, after Russia insists country must pay old debts

Russian gas giant Gazprom is still eager to discuss a new deal with Chisinau despite Moldova’s mounting energy debts, the Kremlin has said, only days after the country announced a state of emergency due to ongoing shortages.

On Friday, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that a new gas deal between the state energy company and the Eastern European nation is still on the table.

“So far, the de facto situation is that they failed to reach an agreement. Moldova has a debt to Gazprom; the debt is quite serious, it is increasing,” Peskov said.

“There is a question related to this debt, the question of a new contract. There is a seller, there is a buyer. The terms of the contract must be agreed; if opinions do not coincide, then nothing can be done. But, of course, Gazprom is open for further contacts and a search for mutually acceptable solutions.”

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

“You all heard and know the statements of European leaders, heads of counterparty companies, that were repeatedly voiced over the past few weeks, that Gazprom is fully fulfilling all its obligations. It has nothing to do with Gazprom’s image, it is a purely commercial issue. Gazprom cannot give gas for free and cannot forgive debts, this is a commercial company,” he added.

Moldova has faced a serious energy crisis in recent days, and the country’s prime minister, Natalia Gavrilita, said last week that a state of emergency could be introduced following unsuccessful negotiations with Moscow.

“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 at the time.

Talks between Moldova and Gazprom have stalled in recent weeks, with a new contract held up by disagreements over pricing and mounting unpaid bills. The current debt stands at $709 million. The Kremlin has insisted that the holdup has nothing to do with politics, despite allegations the Kremlin was seeking to exert pressure on the country to tear up a deal with the EU. The St. Petersburg-based energy firm has said it is not willing to provide its product at a loss.

Also on rt.com Russia will cut gas supplies to Moldova unless $700 million debt is paid & new contract signed before December 1 – Gazprom

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