Gazprom may once again become the only gas supplier to Moldova if the latter can secure a better price from the Russian energy giant than it can on supplies from the EU, Moldovan Energy Minister Victor Parlicov said on Friday in an interview with Publika TV.
The minister also said that the territory controlled by Chisinau switched to imports of gas from the EU in 2022, after Gazprom slashed supplies to the country by about 30%. Up to 5.7 million cubic meters per day are sent to the breakaway self-governing region of Transnistria.
The Russian company attributed the reduction to the refusal of Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz to provide gas delivery services through the Sokhranovka entry point.
“A pragmatic decision will be made: either we will buy gas from Gazprom, because it is at a very competitive price, or we will find a cheaper alternative,” Parlikov said, adding that the purchases could be resumed as soon as in May.
He added that the daily volumes of 5.7 million cubic meters will be enough for generating electric power on both the left and right banks of the Dniester River. Moldova still purchases electricity generated in a Transnistrian power plant using Gazprom’s gas.
The territory on the left bank of the Dniester, called Transnistria, proclaimed independence from Moldova in the early 1990s, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Around 1,100 Russian soldiers are stationed there as peacekeepers in order to monitor a 1992 ceasefire between Moldovan and local forces.
Moldova has been subject to a state of emergency that is renewed every 60 days since the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. Since last December, Moldovagaz has been receiving the fuel from both the country’s state-run enterprise Energocom and Gazprom.
Earlier this year, Parlicov said that much of Moldova would no longer purchase Russian gas, adding that it had managed to procure gas from EU suppliers at a better price.
In December, Russian gas has been sold to Moldova for $831 per thousand cubic meter, Meanwhile, the same volume from the EU has cost the nation some $610.
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