By Peter Meller

Moldova’s government said on Wednesday Russia’s Gazprom had rejected a request to defer payment for gas delivered in January. The authorities said they would ask parliament to declare a state of emergency over the energy crisis.

Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu said the government was able to pay Gazprom $38 million out of $63 million for the gas delivered in January. According to the Moldovan government’s five-year contract with Gazprom, which came into force in early November, the Moldovan side is obliged to pay the fees by the 20th of each month.

On 22 October 2021, the Moldovan government, even before signing the contract with Gazprom, asked the parliament to impose a state of emergency due to the energy crisis.

Under the new contract, Russia began supplying Moldova with 3 bcm of gas each year at $450 per thousand cubic metres (November rate). Subsequent payments were linked to gas prices on the stock exchange.

The previous contract with Gazprom expired at the end of September 2021. At the time, Moscow did not agree to extend the gas supply contract under the existing terms and threatened to cut supplies if Chisinau were to default on its obligations to the corporation. Gazprom has estimated the debt of Moldovan gas company Moldovagaz at $709 million.