HomeMediaLatest NewsMinus $800 million? The Moldovan authorities declared the absence of debt to Gazprom

Minus $800 million? The Moldovan authorities declared the absence of debt to Gazprom

04 September 2023

Salikhov Marcel R. President, Principal Director on Economic Studies, Head of the Economic Department

Marcel Salikhov, president of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to the newspaper Novye Izvestia about Moldova's debt for gas.

Since 2011, Gazprom and Moldovagaz have extended the agreement on gas supplies to the country. On October 29, 2021, the contract was extended once again for 5 years. The condition for signing by the Russian company was Moldova's proposal that it undertakes to pay current payments and will repay the historical debt. It amounts, according to Gazprom, to $ 433 million, and if you take into account penalties and fines for overdue payments — 709 million. However, for its part, the government has asked for an independent audit to check not only Moldovagaz, but also all subsidiaries that are indirectly and directly related to gas supplies from Russia. Gazprom agreed to this, Marcel Salikhov says:

— The auditors' report has not been published, so it is unclear where such a result came from, despite the fact that last year it was about $ 700 million. It is quite possible that, depending on how the delay, penalties, and so on are taken into account. Maybe some one—time reasons - 700 or 800 million, depending on the approach. But when it is said that there is no debt at all, it looks strange.

Marcel Salikhov also admits that there are several fundamental problems that are connected not only with Moldova, but also with Transnistria:

— Historically, Gazprom supplied gas to Transnistria, and Transnistria did not pay for it. At the same time, there is the Moldovskaya GRES, the largest power plant owned by INTERAO, which provides electricity to Moldova itself and Transnistria. There are separate agreements that Moldova, the Moldovagaz company, concluded with Gazprom.

Experts call the situation explosive. The fact is that Moldova receives electricity from Transnistria. Not only the population in Tiraspol, but also in Moldova itself can suffer from rash actions.

In the most extreme case, Gazprom will simply stop supplying gas to the country, Marcel Salikhov says:

— As I understand it, the contract that was concluded in 2021 between Moldovagaz and Gazprom for five years provides that Gazprom may stop supplying gas.

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