CHISINAU, September 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Natural gas supply from Romania to Moldova by the Yassy-Ungeny pipeline built with EU assistance has been postponed until October, Prime Minister Iurie Leanca said on Monday.
He said the delay had been caused by the government’s failure to coordinate the terms of gas purchases from Romania with Moldovagaz, a Russian-Moldovan joint venture and the main supplier of gas to the country.
Deputy Prime Minister Adrian Candu said earlier that the Yassy-Ungeny pipeline could be used for delivering Russian gas from Romania. “Moldova can get Russian gas from Romania if Ukraine blocks the transit. This will increase our energy security,” he said.
Candu provided no details, saying that this issue had been discussed during Russian Gazprom Deputy Chairman Valery Golubev’s visit to Chisinau earlier this month.
“The Yassy-Ungeny gas pipeline will become operational later than expected. The government hopes it will start transporting Romanian gas in October, and by that time we are planning to work out a settlement formula with Moldovagaz for the Romanian gas that will come in small amounts,” Leanca said.
The pipeline has a limited capacity and can only supply gas to one district of Moldova.
Last week, Romania warned Moldova that it would not be able to supply natural gas to it in the event of emergencies in winter.
Romania meets 80% of its gas needs with gas produced locally and buys the rest from Gazprom. It hopes to become a full-fledged gas exporter by 2019-2020 when it starts producing gas off the Zmeiny Island in the Black Sea, after winning international litigation with Ukraine for its control.