26 Oct 2022 15:06

Chisinau proposes meeting of Moldovan and Transdniestrian reps to discuss energy crisis

CHISINAU. Oct 26 (Interfax) - The Moldovan government's Bureau for Reintegration has come up with an initiative to hold a meeting of political representatives from Chisinau and Tiraspol in the 1+1 format.

"The meeting is necessary in order to determine ways to resolve the difficulties that have recently emerged across the country," the bureau said on Wednesday.

The plan is that Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Serebrian and Transdniestria's Foreign Minister Vitaly Ignatyev, official negotiators of the two sides, should meet to discuss the problems related to the energy crisis.

Invitations to take part in the discussion were also forwarded to representatives of relevant organizations on both banks of the Dniestr River and the mediators and observers of the 5+2 format talks that include Moldova and Transdniestria as the sides of the conflict, Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE as mediators, and the European Union and the United States as observers.

The Transdniestrian administration said last Friday that it would have to seriously reduce electricity supplies to right-bank Moldova from 70% of Moldova's total electricity demand to 27% of the earlier agreed amount from October 24, and to 23% from November 1.

Under its contract with Chisinau, the Moldovan Hydropower Plant (located in Transdniestria and owned by Russia's Inter RAO UES) is to supply up to 525 megawatts, which is equivalent to 70% of Moldova's power consumption. However, now there is a force majeure event. The Moldovan Hydropower Plant is currently supplying the right bank of the Dniestr River with nearly half of the 70% volume of right-bank Moldova's electricity needs envisaged in the contract for October.

Before October 13, Moldova used to make up for any shortages by buying from Ukraine. Moldova is expected to increase electricity imports from Romania to 235 megawatts from Monday. But even so, it will be still be around 50% short of electricity.

Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the Transdniestrian Settlement Process Thomas Mayr-Harting visited Chisinau and Tiraspol earlier this week. He spoke out in favor of continuing negotiations between Chisinau and Tiraspol. The 5+2 format talks have been frozen for more than three years.