Moldovan PM calls Gazprom request to repay debt a ‘hostile decision’ – Business & Economy

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CHISINAU, January 21. /TASS/. The Moldovan government considers the letter from Gazprom, in which the company warned it against a possible stoppage of gas supplies due to non-payment of them according to the contractual conditions, as a “hostile decision” . The country’s Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita said this on Friday when commenting on parliament’s decision to introduce a state of emergency in the energy sector to pay off the $25 million debt for January supplies. .

“Gazprom is a big serious company, so they could have delayed payment of this 25 million dollars for 10 days, for a month. In our opinion, with a minimum of willingness to cooperate, it was possible to find a commercial solution. We take it at least that letter we received made it very clear that if payments were not made by the 20 [of January], then on the 21st, at 9 a.m., deliveries would be stopped,” Gavrilita said.

She did not rule out an increase in gas tariffs due to the fact that its purchase price remains high, but assured that the government would allocate funds to compensate citizens.

“We have several scenarios, and we will act according to the increase in tariffs. We will do everything so that citizens do not feel a further increase in tariffs,” Gavrilita said.

On Thursday, the Moldovan government imposed a state of emergency in the country for a period of 60 days after Gazprom notified Chisinau that it would suspend gas supplies from January 21, if the Moldovan side did not fulfill not its financial obligations. In the evening, the press service of the gas distribution company Moldovagaz announced that the current supply debt had been repaid.

Earlier this month, Moldovagaz chairman of the board, Vadim Cheban, said the company would not be able to settle accounts with Gazprom for current gas consumption in January and avoid suspension. gas supplies. He pinned financial difficulties on tariffs, as they did not follow the increase in the price of imported gas in January.

The price of Russian gas for Moldova in January fell from $550 to $647 per 1,000 cubic meters. The approved rate is $430.

On Friday, Moldovagaz asked the National Energy Regulatory Agency for permission to increase domestic tariffs for gas purchased from Gazprom by 45%. The tariff will increase from 9,227 to 13,418 lei per 1,000 cubic meters (from $511 to $743). The agency approved the new final tariff for natural gas at regulated prices at a public meeting.

In October, Moldovagaz and Gazprom extended the gas supply contract for five years. There is an important clause that states that on the 20th of every month, Moldova is required to pay the cost of gas consumed in the previous month, as well as half of the volume consumed in the current month.

In November, Moldovagaz was in arrears and received a notification about the possible suspension of gas supply within 48 hours. At the time, the government had allocated around $75 million for settlements with Gazprom.

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