Moldova is no longer receiving Russian gas or facing „blackmail” imposed by Russia’s gas company Gazprom over its difficulties in paying for supplies, the country’s energy minister said.
Victor Parlicov told TV8 television on March 15 that Gazprom had been providing supplies only to Moldova’s Russian-backed Transnistia separatist region since December, with none going to central authorities in Chisinau.
He said Moldova which lies between Ukraine and European Union member Romania, was able to secure European supplies thanks to 300 million euros in credits from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Transnistria has never paid Gazprom for the gas it receives, he said.
„Transnistrria didn’t pay for gas before and it’s not paying now,” Parlicov said. „Gazprom puts up with debts from there. But (with the rest of Moldova) … the Russian company resorted to supply cuts, to blackmail.”
Gazprom had allowed this for 30 years, he said to keep the pro-Russian region from collapsing
Pro-European President Maia Sandu accuses Russia of plotting to destabilize it. Transnistria, meanwhile, last week said it had foiled a Ukrainian plot to assassinate its leaders.
A contingent of 1,500 Russian „peacekeepers” remain in the separatist region.
Transdnistria owed Russia several billion dollars for gas, Moldovan officials say.
Accumulated arrears for the Moldovagaz company in the rest of Moldova stand at $709 million.
Moldova depends on Transnistria to provide most of its electricity at relatively cheap prices from a thermal power station supplied by Gazprom.