Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 22 March 2023 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński
Moldova Braces For Natural Gas Supply Shortage
The Russian energy giant Gazprom may completely halt the gas supplies to Moldova. The government in Chisinau is now planning ways to deal with such eventuality amid a months-long dispute over gas supplies and their price. Moldova sends the entire volume of gas it is receiving from Russia to the hydropower plant in Dniester in Transnistria, a breakaway governing region. Moldova then gets electricity in return.
Energy Minister of Moldova Victor Parlikov stated that the Russian energy giant Gazprom may completely halt the gas supplies to the eastern European country amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. The minister made it clear that if the gas supply gets halted by the Russian company, then “Chisinau would also have to deal with an energy crisis in Transnistria.” He added that under the deal, Moldova delivers Russian gas to the left bank of the Dniestr in exchange for electricity from a power plant in the separatist-controlled region. “Now all the gas that reaches the left bank of the Dniester is de facto free. The advantage of this situation is that we buy electricity at a better price than at its alternative cost,” he said. Parlikov has called for revising contracts with Russia’s Gazprom. “There will be consequences that all of us will have to deal with on the right bank. There are 250,000 people living on the left bank of the Dniester, most of them citizens of Moldova. They will not go to Moscow or Ukraine, we will also have to take care of them,” the official added. In October 2021, the Moldovan national energy company, Moldovagas signed a five-year contract with Gazprom. The contract was signed with the Russian company for the supply of 3.3 billion cubic meters of gas annually. Of this volume, 1.1 bcm was designated for Moldova and the other 2.2 bcm for Transnistria. In October, Gazprom slashed gas supplies to the eastern European country by 30 percent, to 5.7 million cubic meters, despite Moldova’s daily demand of 8.06 million cubic meters. Gazprom cited technical issues in gas transit through Ukraine as the reason for slashed supplies. Moscow sends all gas supplies to the left bank of the Dniester and buys electricity from a local power plant at $73 per kWh, which is cheaper than the electricity it gets from Romania at $95 per kWh.
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