The Moldovan parliament has declared a 60-day state of emergency over the gas crisis.
The decision has been made at the government’s proposal, an Interfax correspondent said in a report. It was supported by 58 deputies from the ruling Party of Action and Solidarity (out of 101 parliament members).
The opposition denied support to the government proposal.
Since Moldova did not make its latest payment for gas deliveries on time, i.e. on Monday, November 22, Russia may halt its gas deliveries to Moldova in 48 hours’ time, spokesperson for gas giant Gazprom Sergei Kupriyanov said.”The next payment was due today, on November 22 of this year. In this context, Gazprom notified the Moldovan side today in accordance with the contract that gas deliveries to Moldova may be suspended in 48 hours. Gazprom is extremely disappointed with Moldova’s lack of compliance with its commitments under the contract,” Kupriyanov said.”As you know, Gazprom had been holding negotiations with Moldova on the issue of gas deliveries, on signing a contract to this effect for a long time. Gazprom’s offers regarding this contract, regard the price for gas were absolutely market-based and were formed on the basis of gas market trading. The Moldovan side, however, insisted on price-setting that would be more preferential for it,” he said.”Bearing in mind the complex, quite challenging economic and financial situation of Moldova, seeking to maintain Moldova’s ability to repay its debt to Gazprom, and in line with the position taken by the Russian president, whom the Moldovan side has repeatedly turned to for help, Gazprom adopted a decision to sign a contract effectively on the Moldovan side’s terms, but with a significant and important point that Moldova must timely make 100% of its current payments for gas,” Kupriyanov said.
Deputy Minister of Economy, Trade Representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka and State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy of Moldova Vadim Gumene have discussed trade protection issues between the countries during a meeting of the Ukrainian-Moldovan working group, the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine has reported.“Some of the issues of bilateral trade, which we today [on November 16] are raising at the meeting, have been discussed for several years. Resolving trade disputes, in particular on ensuring an equal and transparent approach to Ukrainian exporters in accordance with the principles of the World Trade Organization, will be favorable strengthening Ukrainian-Moldovan trade relations and increasing the dynamics and bilateral trade,” the press service of the ministry said on the website, citing Kachka.As the ministry said, the Moldovan side raised the issue of the use by Ukraine of anti-dumping duties on the import of cement, rods from carbon and other alloy steels originating from Moldova to Ukraine. At the same time, the Ministry of Economy said that Ukraine has already begun an interim revision of anti-dumping measures for the import of cement into Ukraine from the Rybnitsa Cement Plant (Moldova).The Ukrainian side, in turn, raised the issue of amendments to the legislation of Moldova on displaying at least 50% of food products produced and/or processed on the territory of Moldova on trade shelves in retail chains. “Such a decision may negatively affect the volume of supplies from Ukraine of products falling under the specified restrictions. We are talking about the amount of almost $170 million,” the ministry said.In addition, the issue of environmental fee in Moldova, including from importers, for goods in plastic or tetrapack packaging, remains open. The low internal control in Moldova over the payment of environmental fees by local producers is worrying, while Ukrainian companies bear double costs, the ministry said.The Ukrainian side also raised the issue of customs clearance of goods exported to Moldova. In particular, problems are caused by the frequency of checks of Ukrainian goods and the additional costs incurred by Ukrainian companies.“The results of today’s discussions will be considered during a meeting of the joint intergovernmental Ukrainian-Moldovan commission on trade and economic cooperation, which will take place in the near future,” the ministry said.
Moldovan state company Energocom has announced a series of tenders to buy natural gas with delivery from the border with Ukraine (Oleksiyivka) or Romania (Ungheni).
The gas purchases are being made for Moldova due to the “exceptional situation,” the company said on its website.
“Following the National Commission for Exceptional Situations of October 13, 2021, the state of alert was announced regarding the natural gas sector. Energocom, a company 100% owned by the State of Moldova, is preparing to purchase natural gas to be supplied at Moldovan border from Ukraine and/or Romania,” the company said.
Tenders will be held for various periods, to begin with short-term gas purchases of 5 million cubic meters and potentially more for the balance of October, Energocom said.
Gas suppliers must have “a proven record of reliable and professional activity (gas supply license in at least one EU/Energy Community country and >0.3 bcm of gas trading in 2020), the company said.
The first tender to purchase 1 mcm of gas was announced on October 23. Prepayment will be issued immediately, but SWIFT transfer to foreign entities can only be carried out on Monday, October 25, Energocom said.
“Considering the emergency situation, the Public Property Agency of Moldova, the sole shareholder of Energocom, will issue a comfort letter to the selected suppliers to confirm that payments will be duly made,” the company said.
The Energy Community Secretariat held a meeting with a delegation from Moldova to discuss problems with gas supplies to the country.
Ukraine will provide assistance to Moldova with gas supplies, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Oleksiy Danilov said.
“We decided to instruct the Cabinet of Ministers to consider this issue. We understand that we can do such assistance to the Republic of Moldova in the near future,” Danilov said at a briefing on Friday following the results of the NSDC meeting.
According to him, Prime Minister of Moldova Natalia Gavrilița has made such a request to the Ukrainian government.
“The Prime Minister of Ukraine received a letter from his colleague with a request to help with gas in order to avoid a difficult situation, which has developed taking into account the blackmail that Gazprom is doing there,” Danilov said.
Later, he said that it would be gas on credit, not for money, and then Moldova would return the supplied resource. According to him, this must be done, since Ukraine and Moldova are united, and there are territories in Ukraine that are supplied with gas from Moldova.
Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal and Prime Minister of Moldova Natalia Gavrilitsa signed an intergovernmental protocol on amendments to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
According to the Ukrainian government’s press service, the amendments to the Free Trade Agreement stipulate that the pan-Euro-Mediterranean rules of origin of goods should be applied in trade between Ukraine and Moldova.
“The transition to these rules of origin of goods unites the Ukrainian and Moldovan Association Agreements with the EU into one system. We made such a step with Georgia a year ago. Now we are uniting the trade regimes of all the states of the Associated Trio among ourselves and with the EU,” the prime minister said.
The head of the Ukrainian government said the pan-Euro-Mediterranean cumulation system allows trading in goods that are produced from components that can originate from all countries in this system.
“This protocol is another step towards the withdrawal of the Associated Trio countries from the trade relations of the CIS and the transition to an EU-centered economy,” Shmyhal said.
In turn, the Prime Minister of Moldova said the Protocol confirms the readiness to promote trade relations between the two countries, in particular on the path of European integration.