After the severe energy crisis, caused by the end of the gas contract with Russian giant Gazprom and the consequent rise of the prices, Moldovagaz signed a new contract extending the contract for Russian gas supplies from 1 November for a period of five years on mutually beneficial terms.
The agreement came only one day after the European Union decided to step up to support Moldova by providing 60 million euros for the most vulnerable citizens ahead of winter. And one day after both the EU and Moldova stressed the importance of resilience against any potential efforts by third parties to use energy as a geopolitical weapon.
“The European Union stands side-by-side with Moldova in overcoming the challenges it faces notably in the areas of health, energy and economy,” said President Ursula von der Leyen. “With our exceptional 60 million euros grant support we will help Moldova through this crisis by mitigating the impact of the rise in gas prices on the most vulnerable people.”
The new programme was in addition to the EU’s Economic Recovery package for Moldova of up to 600 million euros over the next three years, which include the disbursement of 36.4 million euros in budget support assistance and 50 million euros in the emergency COVID-19 macro-financial assistance.
“We are grateful for the support constantly provided to Moldova in the promotion of the independence and energy security,” said Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita. “It is true that the high dependence on the import of gas and electric energy has as consequence a low level of security of supply, placing the country among the most vulnerable in the world. Therefore, the efforts of the cabinet I lead are focused on the diversification of the sources of gas supply and the reforms necessary for Moldova’s integration into the European energy market. We declare for cooperation relations in the sector of predictable energy both with our partners from the East and those from the West.”
Indeed, Moldova is trying to diversity its gas supply. At the beginning of November, Poland’s PGNiG Supply and Trading (PST) in cooperation with Energy Resources of Ukraine (ERU), a group of companies with foreign investments which specialises in the implementation of projects in the Ukrainian energy sector, won a tender for the first time ever gas supply to Moldova as an alternative supplier. Also, a gas interconnector to Romania is under construction to reduce dependence on Russian gas and in July 2020, the first supply of natural gas to Romania with Moldova being a transit country took place.