21 Sep 2023 18:53

Moldova doesn't intend to terminate agreement with Gazprom - minister

CHISINAU. Sept 21 (Interfax) - Moldova does not intend to terminate its agreement with Gazprom , but is ready should the Russian company decide to, Moldovan Energy Minister Viktor Parlicov said.

"We are looking at this. We do not plan to terminate this contract unilaterally, but of course we must be prepared for Gazprom to terminate the contract. Of course, we must be prepared for such a scenario at any time," he said on Vocea Basarabiei TV on Thursday.

Asked about Moldova's current relations with Gazprom, he said that they came down to cooperation between Moldovagaz and Gazprom.

"There are no other relations at the moment. We presented Gazprom and Moldovagaz with the results of the audit of the historical debt. They also presented their proposals for debt settlement. The ball is now in Gazprom's court, we are waiting for a response," Parlicov said.

He said he thought both sides had breached the five-year gas supply agreement, which went into effect on November 1, 2021. "Chisinau did not carry out an audit of its historical debt on time. Gazprom unilaterally reduced supplies to 5.7 million cubic meters per day. Both are grounds for terminating the contract. No one is doing this. We do not intend to terminate the contract, The Transniestrian region receives gas from Gazprom in the framework of this agreement. All the gas goes to the left bank of the Dniester," Parlicov said.

He said Chisinau would have two crises to contend with if Gazprom terminated the contract and halt gas supplies to Transdniestria: higher electricity prices and a possible humanitarian disaster on the left bank of the Dniester.

Moldovagaz CEO Vadim Ceban said at a press conference on Thursday that the audit of the historical debt to Gazprom had no legal consequences for Moldovagaz.

"The document contains many subjective judgments, assumptions, forecasts and proposals. But there is nothing specific in it. On the one hand, the audit recognizes that historical debt exists, and there are many figures for this debt - from $709 million to $756 million. On the other hand, the authors of the audit argue that the debt might not be repaid. From an accounting point of view, these arguments cannot be accepted," Ceban said.

He considers the calculations by the Moldovan government, according to which the debt to Gazprom is only $8.6 million, to be unfounded.