The Republic of Moldova is clapping with Russia over gas and is looking for investments from China
In the midst of the energy crisis, Moldova, dependent on Russian natural gas, has announced a new five-year contract with Russian giant Gazprom despite official European efforts to convince it that it should avoid signing a new contract with Moscow and instead rely on deliveries from European companies. We need to think about accessibility, said the country’s prime minister, Natalia Gavrilița, writes Financial Times. However, Moldova’s contract extends for a shorter period of time than the 15-year contract concluded in September by Hungary with Gazprom. Budapest will be able to change the quantities purchased only in 10 years.
Moldova has concluded a new five-year contract in an attempt to end a local gas crisis sparked by Gazprom’s decision to cut supplies and demand political concessions in exchange for an agreement.
The former Soviet state, which is not a member of the European Union, has negotiated with Gazprom, seeking in parallel financial assistance from the EU and trying to buy enough gas from European companies on the spot market to cover its daily needs.
Moldova had declared a state of emergency last month after Gazprom, which supplies all of the country’s gas, cut supplies by a third and threatened to disrupt them altogether if Moldova did not agree to a more expensive contract.
“The agreement includes the extension of the previous contract between Gazprom and MoldovaGaz for another five years based on the price formula proposed by the Moldovan side,” reads a statement from the Moldovan government.
During negotiations with Moldova, Gazprom said the country could get better contractual terms if it gave up some pro-EU policies, according to some sources. The Moldovan crisis is in the midst of a wider gas crisis in Europe that has led critics of Gazprom, Europe’s largest gas supplier, to suggest that it seeks to obtain policies and penalize countries and to be careful to enter conflict. he. Russia has denied that politics played a role in the negotiations.
The new agreement and a debt audit that Gazprom claims includes that Moldova would own it. No price details have been made public. Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavriliţa previously said that if her country does not reach an agreement with Gazprom, it will have to pay about 800 million euros over the next five months on alternative imports.
Thus, additional support from Brussels would be needed. Last week, the EU promised Moldova a 60m-euro grant. “We are grateful for the EU’s support. There are no easy solutions in this case. We were open to remaining a partner of Gazprom. We need to think about accessibility, “she added.
On the other hand, Moldova is looking for investments from China. The country’s embassy in Beijng recently presented 20 projects worth 1 billion euros locally for potential Chinese investment, Deutsche Welle writes.
The Ambassador of Moldova to Beijing Dumitru Braghiș promoted Moldova as a place with a favorable fiscal system and a free economic zone, industrial zones and IT parks. However, observers suggest that what attracts Chinese companies is the weakness of the regulatory system and the high degree of corruption.