Gazprom Won’t Halt Gas Flow to Moldova as Payment Deadline Looms
(Bloomberg) -- Gazprom PJSC won’t halt gas flows to Moldova as the nation’s government promised to pay on Friday the money it owes for recent fuel supplies.
Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said Wednesday in a statement that the company has shown “good will and understanding of what a difficult situation the citizens of the Republic of Moldova may find themselves in” by agreeing to the later payment date Chisinau requested.
“At the same time, Gazprom is firmly counting on Moldova’s absolute fulfillment of its obligations under the contract in the future and the payment of current payments on time,” Kupriyanov said.
On Monday, the Russian gas producer gave Europe’s poorest nation 48 hours to pay for recent gas supplies, stating that “100% current payments for gas on time” was a “significant and important” condition of the supply deal that was signed at the end of October.
By Nov. 20, Moldova owed $74.28 million for gas deliveries in October in addition to an advance payment for supplies in November. The funds weren’t transfered to Gazprom on time because Moldovagaz’s finances were under pressure from surging gas prices last month, when the nation was still negotiating the deal with the Russian producer.
At the end of October, the two parties agreed to extend the deal for a further five years to supply around 3 billion cubic meters a year on a price formula proposed by Moldova, which allows the nation, wedged between Romania and Ukraine, to receive Russian gas at a discount. For November, it was set at roughly half the current benchmark price for the fuel in Europe.
While Moldova’s government is ready to transfer the funds necessary to pay its outstanding debt to Gazprom, that requires approval from the country’s Parliament, which is expected to meet on Thursday.
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