22 Nov 2019 12:03

Moldovan president suggests Transdniestria's $6.2-bln gas debt be annulled

CHISINAU. Nov 22 (Interfax) - Gas debts of Tiraspol should be annulled in case the Transdniestrian settlement is accomplished, Moldovan President Igor Dodon said on the TV channel PROTV-Chisinau.

The president noted that gas consumption was metered separately for the western and eastern banks of the Dniester River.

"The $6.2-billion gas debt of Transdniestria to Gazprom is the liability of the Russian company's subsidiary, Moldovagaz. It cannot be the debt of the Moldovan government or the debt to be paid by citizens of Moldova," Dodon said.

There are a variety of solutions to the problem, Dodon said. "Moldovagaz assets in the Transdniestrian district could be used to pay the debt. In fact, the debt corresponds to the assets' value. If the decision to pay the debt this way is made. However, I think that the debts should be annulled at the moment of the political settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict," Dodon said.

Repayment of gas debts was discussed during the Moldovan prime minister's visit to Moscow earlier this week. Moldovagaz CEO Vadim Ceban said that the sides addressed current debts of Moldova, not Transdniestria's debts.

Dodon said on January 17, 2017, during his first visit to Moscow in the presidential capacity, that "Transdniestria's gas debt is a debt of Moldova." He said in the later period that the debt was not a liability of Moldova, but a result of interaction between two economic entities, Gazprom and Moldovagaz.