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Ukraine and Romania to ease Gazprom’s pressure on Moldova


Ukraine and Romania have said they will help neighbour Moldova if Russia decides to cut off gas supplies from October 1 when the winter heating season begins, https://balkaninsight.com/ reads.


Ukrainian presidential adviser Mihailo Podolyak told Pro TV Chisinau on Monday evening that his country will deliver more electricity if supplies are halted from the Cuciurgan power plant in Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria, which operates on Russian gas.


This [help with electricity] is indisputable. However, for us, it is a matter of principle. It is a matter of our humane attitude, absolutely benevolent towards our partners and neighbours,” said Pololyak.


Currently, EU aspirant state Moldova gets 67 per cent of its electricity from the Cuciurgan plant, while 33 per cent comes from Ukraine.


Moldova’s Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Andrei Spinu, said on Monday evening that there has been no response from Gazprom about deliveries of Russian gas from October 1, when public heating is switched on for the winter season.


If there was a halt, Moldova has stored 35 million cubic metres of gas in Romania, which would last approximately ten days. The gas can be transported through the Iasi-Ungheni-Chisinau pipeline, which has been operating since 2021.


Spinu warned that if Russia halts supplies, the Moscow-backed Transnistria region would also be affected as it would have to buy gas at the market price and pay in advance.


Transnistria, a region on the left bank of the Dniester River with a de facto population of no more than 350,000 people, is dependent on Russian gas for the functioning of its economy. Russia has given passports to more than 220,000 of Transnistria’s residents and has peacekeeping troops based there.


Meanwhile, Romania on Monday sent Moldova the first tanks of fuel oil to replenish its state reserve. Spinu said that thermo-electric power plants in Moldova will continue to operate to a greater extent using fuel oil.


Leaders from Chisinau have been lobbying in the past few weeks in Bucharest to secure gas supplies from Romania if Gazprom turns off the tap.


Romania currently has a domestic production of approximately 25 million cubic metres of gas per day and a consumption of 13 million. The rest of the output goes to storage warehouses.


Moldova consumes 1.3 billion cubic meters of gas annually, while the Transnistria region consumes about 1.7 billion annually.