CHISINAU, 4 Oct – PRIME. The results of the audit of the historical debt of Moldovagaz to Gazprom will appear by the end of January, said Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Infrastructure of Moldova Andrei Spinu.
Earlier on Tuesday, Gazprom announced that it reserves the right to completely stop gas supplies to Moldova if the country violates payment obligations by October 20, as well as due to a gross violation of the deadlines for concluding an agreement to settle the historical debt of Moldovagaz JSC. Only in August, the Moldovan government concluded an audit agreement with the Norwegian company Wikborg Rein Advokatfirma and the British Forensic Risk Alliance & Co. Spinu told Gazprom that the government would not be able to complete the debt audit by October 1, so he asked the Russian side for a delay.
“The audit is in progress, the companies have been selected, the contract has been signed, Moldovagaz has provided the first information, the companies are working, by the end of January there should be results, and we will come to an agreement on the settlement of the historic debt,” Spinu said on the radio Vocea Basarabiei.
He added that he represents the first government that has decided to tackle the problem of historical debt.
Moldova is experiencing an energy crisis due to rising energy prices. The authorities intend to reduce gas consumption in winter by at least 15%, and have also developed and submitted for discussion a plan that includes turning off street lighting, lowering the central heating temperature, transferring schoolchildren and students to distance learning. Since August, Moldovagaz has been cutting off consumers who have not paid on time for services for the supply of natural gas.
In October last year, the Moldovan authorities agreed with Gazprom to extend the contract for the supply of gas to the republic, subject to an audit of the Moldovagaz debt in 2022. Throughout 2022, Moldova regularly violates the terms of payment for the supplied Russian gas, so far, due to the position of the country, the issue of historical debt has not been resolved, which entails the risk of terminating the contract at any time, Gazprom said earlier.