CHISINAU, November 5. /TASS/. The gas crisis in Moldova has exposed problems in relations between Moscow and Chisinau, President of the republic, Maya Sandu said in an interview with the Moldova-1 TV channel on Thursday.
She was commenting on the difficulties the Moldovan delegation faced in negotiations on gas prices.
“The gas contract concerns our relations with the Russian Federation. Obviously, there are some serious problems [in relations] and those that are simpler. We have always been sincere and said that we are interested in pragmatic and constructive cooperation based on mutual respect,” the Moldovan President said.
Sandu said the gas negotiations were “very difficult.” She explained that the contract with Gazprom expired at the time of sharp growth in gas prices in Europe. The new terms proposed by the Russian gas holding were unaffordable for Moldova, Sandu said. At the same time, she noted that Moscow made concessions to Chisinau and the republic would not buy gas at market prices.
Sandu mentioned a number of other problems in relations she found serious. These are restrictions on the export of Moldovan agricultural products to Russia, the Transnistrian issue and agreements on social guarantees to Moldovan citizens working in Russia.
Sandu said that Moldovan Foreign Minister Nikolai Popescu is scheduled to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on November 17. Also, preparations are underway for a meeting of the Russian-Moldovan intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation.
“For the moment no summits are being planned,” Sandu said.
In September, Moldova did not manage to complete negotiations on a new contract for the supply of Russian gas. At those negotiations Chisinau sought a discount on gas. During this period, Gazprom could not fully fill the pipeline going through the territory of Ukraine and gas was supplied to Moldova at the level of last year’s volumes, which make up 67% of today’s consumption. In this situation, the Moldovan parliament introduced a state of emergency from October 22 to November 20.
Last week, the parties agreed to extend the contract for the supply of gas for five years, as well as to pay off the debt. After that supplies of Russian gas to the republic were resumed in full. According to the results of the talks, Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu said that in November the new gas price for the republic will be $450 per 1,000 cubic meters and will vary depending on the market situation. However, when the parties extended the contract for the period of negotiations in October, the republic paid $790 per 1,000 cubic meters for gas.
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