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Moldovan president hopes to secure Russian gas discount at meeting with Putin

The leader earlier expressed concern over the possible termination of gas transit via Ukraine
Moldovan President Igor Dodon  AP Photo/Roveliu Buga
Moldovan President Igor Dodon
© AP Photo/Roveliu Buga

CHISINAU, July 18. /TASS/. Moldovan President Igor Dodon expects to secure a discount on Russian gas at a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that may take place in the near future, the president stated upon his return from Moscow, where he had discussed the issue with the top management of Russia’s Gazprom company and Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Trade and Economic Relations with Moldova Dmitry Kozak.

"Today, I sent an official letter to the Russian authorities, asking them to consider the possibility of granting Moldova a gas discount for the period between September 1 and January 1. The final decision will be made soon at a meeting with Putin," Dodon commented following Thursday’s meeting of Moldova’s Supreme Security Council.

The Moldovan president said earlier in an interview with TASS that he was concerned about the possible termination or reduction of Russian gas transit via Ukraine. According to him, it would negatively affect Moldova’s revenue from transit services and could also reduce or even end Russian gas supplies to the country. Dodon pointed out that the Ungheni-Chisinau gas pipeline, designed as an alternative route for transporting gas from the neighboring Romania and sponsored by the EU, had not been completed yet. At the same time, it was unclear where gas for reverse supplies would come from, Dodon added.

Moldova purchases gas from Gazprom in accordance with a contract that was signed in 2008 and has been extended every year since then. The contract links gas prices for Moldova to the global market price. During his visit to Moscow in February 2019, Dodon asked Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller to give Moldova a 25% gas discount. Following a meeting with Miller on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), the Moldovan leader announced that an agreement had been reached to launch negotiations on new gas supply conditions and gas transit for the period starting on January 1, 2020. Last year, Gazprom supplied 2.9 bln cubic meters of gas to Moldova, which is 8.4% more compared to 2017.