Discount Gas Price for Moldova-bound Russian Gas Begins This Month

Moldovan President Igor Dodon confirmed that the discount of $10-15 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas for Moldova, which he negotiated with Russian President Vladimir Putin in September, has entered into force, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday

“Indeed, Moldova has been receiving cheaper gas from Gazprom starting from October 1,” Dodon said in an interview with the Moldova1 TV.

“Starting from January 1, 2020, the discount may grow to $40-50 [per 1,000 cubic meters of gas],” he said.

In the first quarter of 2019, the price of the Russian gas for Moldova stood at $235 per 1,000 cubic meters.

After a meeting with Putin on September 7, Dodon announced Russia would cut the price of gas it delivers to Moldova by $10-15 per 1,000 cubic meters from October 1. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in turn, said the final discount will be agreed at the expert level.

Moldova’s contract for the Russian gas expires in 2019. The previous government, in Dodon’s words, lowballed gas tariffs and “left an ‘energy bomb’ that may send gas prices [for the population] hiking.”

At the moment, Moldova is acquiring “blue fuel” from Gazprom under an agreement that was signed back in 2008, with gas prices being set depending on oil prices on world markets. The contract expires on December 31 of this year. The co-chairman of the Moldovan-Russian intergovernmental commission Vasily Shova in an interview with RIA Novosti said that in matters of Russian gas supplies, Moldova depends on Ukraine and its willingness to agree with Russia on fuel transit.

Moldova is one of Europe’s poorest countries and a rise in gas prices could hurt the country’s struggling economy.