Leaked contract reveals Russian gas giant Gazprom can cut supplies to Moldova unless historic debt is settled by May

Russian gas giant Gazprom can cut gas supplies to Moldova unless the sides settle a historic debt by May 1.

Gazprom estimates the debt  as $900 million according to a memorandum attached to the contract signed last November by the two companies and the Moldovan government.

In January, Romania’s government has approved a 100-million-euros financial support package for neighboring Moldova after Russia threatened to cut off the gas over an outstanding bill.

The latest document leaked to media on February 22 refers to a bigger, historic debt.

The contract is classified confidential and its leak has prompted speculation on how the price was calculated and the provision for settling the historic debt.

Another provision regarding gas delivery to the separatist Trans-Dniester republic also raised questions.

According to the contract,  Moldovagaz takes full responsibility for gas delivered to Trans-Dniester  “if a bilateral contract is signed”.

Trans-Dniester already owes $7 billion in unpaid gas bills under a political agreement with Moscow. The agreement has an unclear legal and commercial status.

In a bid to allay  public concerns about Moldovans paying for the gas delivered to separatists,  Moldovagaz promised to publish its contract with Tiraspoltransgaz. That is the company that operates the gas distribution and transport network in the breakaway region.

“Only Tiraspoltransgaz is responsible for fulfilling its direct financial obligations towards Moldovagaz,” Moldovagaz CEO Vadim Ceban said.

Moldovan politician and former interior minister minister Andrei Nastase, said: “Moldovans on the right bank of the Dniester „are obliged to pay the bills of those on the left bank of the Dniester (Trans-Dniester)”.

Romania approves 100-million euro aid to help Moldova deal with energy crisis


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