Even if Moldova manages to settle with Gazprom for gas this time, it will constantly face the threat of the suspension of supplies by the Russian company and thus will be under political and economic pressure. As for Ukraine, the suspension of gas supplies to Moldova threatens a decrease in transit.
Oleksandr Khmelevskyi, Candidate of Economic Sciences, independent expert, told this in a comment for Kosatka.Media.
“Although the new gas tariff for Moldovan consumers, introduced on November 10 this year, covers the costs of Moldovagaz, however, there are doubts whether consumers will be able to pay for gas at the new tariff. Most likely, consumers' debts will grow, and Moldovagaz will not be able to settle accounts with Gazprom on time. To prevent the suspension of supplies, the government will have to constantly provide loans to Moldovagaz,” the expert said.
If supplies are cut off, Moldova will find itself in a difficult situation, Khmelevskyi said. The CHPs may stop and the population will be left without heating and electricity, as well as the enterprises.
Alternatively, Moldova will be able to purchase gas from Ukraine or European companies, the expert added.
“At the same time, Moldova will have to buy gas from Ukraine and European companies much more expensive than from Gazprom. And Moldovagaz may not settle accounts with new suppliers either. Therefore, there is a high probability that Moldova may face an energy crisis this winter,” Khmelevskyi said.
The expert added that Ukraine will not be significantly affected by the cessation of gas supplies to Moldova. However, the volumes of Russian gas transit through Ukraine may decrease slightly, as some of them enter Moldova through Ukraine.
According to Khmelevskyi, attempts to lend money to Moldova with gas or money may lead to the emergence of problem debts. At the same time, since Gazprom controls the gas transportation system of Moldova, it is not interested in the bankruptcy of Moldovagaz.
“The Russian authorities, trying to improve their image in Moldova, will not stop gas supplies, although they will not stop putting pressure on Moldova to pay back debts.
The current conflict has economic reasons, but Gazprom did not agree to establish preferential gas tariffs for Moldova, as it was during the presidency of Dodon. By this, Russia exerts a certain political pressure, demonstrating to Moldova that it is better to be friends with it and have a loyal president,” the expert summed up.
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