CHISINAU, January 20. /TASS/. Moldova's Commission for Emergency Situations issued the order to transfer funds to Moldovagaz in order to pay debts to Russia?s Gazprom, the State Chancellery of Moldova said in a statement Thursday.
According to the decree, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection will transfer about $26 million to Moldovagaz, and the company will have to pay Gazprom for fuel received in the first half of January before tomorrow.
According to the Moldovan government, the gas distributor Moldovagaz lacks about $25 million in order to pay off its debts to the Russian company. After Gazprom notified Chisinau about the suspension of gas supplies starting on January 21 due to Moldova?s failure to fulfill its financial obligations, the republic declared a 60-day state of emergency on Thursday.
In October last year, Moldovagaz and Gazprom prolonged the fuel supply contract for five years. An important clause of this contract stipulates that Moldova has to pay for the gas consumed in the previous month, and half of the volume received in the current month before the 20th day of each month. In November last year, Moldova was also late with its payment and received a notification from Gazprom on the potential suspension of gas supplies within 48 hours, after which the government of the republic provided the required funds.
According to Moldovagaz CEO Vadim Cheban, the company faced financial problems in January because gas tariffs in the republic were not adjusted on time. In January, the procurement price for Russian gas increased to $647 for 1,000 cubic meters, while the tariff provides for a price of about $430.