Moldovan parliament declares 30-day state of emergency over energy crisis
CHISINAU. Oct 22 (Interfax) - The Moldovan parliament has declared a state of emergency for 30 days, from October 22 to November 20, due to the crisis in the energy sector.
The decision to impose a state of emergency was made at an extraordinary parliamentary session on Friday, with 55 parliamentarians from the ruling Party of Action and Solidarity in the 101-seat parliament voting in favor.
Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita asked the parliament to declare a state of emergency after the government adopted the relevant resolution.
"We have a critical situation in the field of gas supply. A deficit of 16 million cubic meters of gas has built up this month. Only 67% of the volume of gas necessary for October has been provided. The pressure in the transport system has dropped to 13.4 bar. This is a critical level for the functioning of the natural gas transport system. In this situation, we have to buy natural gas from other sources, but certain conditions have to be ensured to implement the action plan. To this end, we're proposing that a state of emergency be declared," Gavrilita said.
Taking questions from parliamentarians, Gavrilita said, "The government is holding negotiations on gas supply for the whole country, including the Transdniestrian region."
"After imposing a state of emergency, we will instruct the state company Energocom to buy the necessary volume of natural gas from alternative sources to ensure the necessary pressure in the pipelines," she said.
Moldova has approached alternative traders to cover the deficit, Gavrilita said.
"We will provide the Energocom company with the financial resources to buy the necessary volumes of gas. The offer was published this morning, and we're expecting a response from traders and will introduce a transparent procedure for procurement," she said.
Asked about "gas imports from alternative sources," Gavrilita said Moldova has four points via which it can receive gas, three of them on the border with Ukraine and one on the border with Romania.
"We are interested in receiving gas for the whole of the country. We'll act depending on the offer and will import [gas] through all available points," she said.
The government expects to resolve the problem of gas imports within the shortest period of time possible, Gavrilita said.
"A Moldovan delegation comprised of two deputy prime ministers has been in Moscow yesterday and today, they're negotiating with Gazprom. We're doing all we can to ensure uninterrupted gas supply to all consumers in Moldova," she said.
In making the decision on a state of emergency, the parliament voted for an amendment stipulating that the state of emergency does not preclude the holding of local elections, considering that mayoral elections are scheduled for November 21 in 15 Moldovan communities, including Balti, the second largest city in Moldova.