CHISINAU, January 29 (Itar-Tass) – The gas dispute between Russian and Ukraine will have no negative effects on gas supplies to Moldovan consumers, Moldova’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Valeriu Lazar told a news conference on Tuesday.
“I see no problems – Russia and Ukraine are both members of the World Trade Organizations (WTO), so all disputes between them are being settled at another level,” he said. He said we he was sure there would no recurrence of the situation that developed in 2006, when after having expressed its disagreement with increased prices Moldova was left without gas supplies for several days. He also reassured that Moldova would be committed to its liabilities concerning transportation of Russian gas to the Balkan countries.
Moldova’s contract on gas supplies with Russia’s gas monopolist Gazprom expired in 2012. Now, the republic is trying to get more advantageous terms but the talks are proceeding with slow progress. The reason is that back in 2010, Moldova joined the energy community agreements that ignored the interests of Gazprom, which holds fifty percent of shares in the joint Moldovan-Russian venture Moldovagaz. To settle relations with Russia’s Gazprom, the Moldovan government was allowed by the European Union to postpone the implementation of the Third Energy Package till the year 2020. Chisinau also wants to sign a separate agreement on energy cooperation with Russia to specify the issue of the protection of Russian investments.