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Moldovan govt to ask parliament to back emergency energy moves

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By Reuters

CHISINAU -Moldova’s government, unable to agree on a new energy deal with Russia’s Gazprom, will ask parliament on Friday to approve a state of emergency to try to ease gas shortages, Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita said.

The state of emergency could last until Nov. 20 and allow the government to buy gas under a simplified scheme with additional funds, the draft resolution said, as world energy prices soar.

Moldova’s contract with Gazprom expired at the end of September. The government asked for an extension but balked at the price of $790 per 1,000 cubic metres.

“We are in a critical situation. The pressure in the gas transportation system is at a critical level for the functioning of natural gas transportation systems,” Gavrilita said, without saying how close the country was to running out altogether.

She said Moldova Gas, 51% owned by Gazprom, had not supplied the required volume of gas and the country has been forced to buy from other sources.

Moldova wants to negotiate with neighbouring Romania and Ukraine while hoping to sign a new contract with Gazprom by the end of the month.

Ukrainian state gas transmission operator GTSOU has said Moldova is receiving gas from Ukraine, but GTSOU head Sergiy Makogon told Reuters the supplied volumes “are only enough for 67% of Moldova’s needs”.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told his Moldovan counterpart in Kyiv that Ukraine would continue pumping gas to Moldova.

Moldova, sandwiched between Ukraine and EU member Romania, consumes 2.8 billion cubic metres of gas per year.