Poland helps address Moldova’s gas crisis
Polish energy company PGNiG said October 25 that it is set to become the first-ever supplier outside of Russia to deliver natural gas to Moldova.
Up until now, Moldova relied entirely on Russian energy company Gazprom for all of its gas supplies. Moldova’s government declared a state of emergency October 22, however, amid gas supply shortages caused by Gazprom cutting shipments.
The supply and trading arm of PGNiG said it would coordinate with ERU Energy in Ukraine to deliver 1mn m3 of natural gas to Moldova on October 26.
“The tender was organised on an urgent basis due to reduction in gas supplies to Moldova by Gazprom,” the Polish company stated.
No financial or contractual terms were disclosed.
Moldova’s contract with Gazprom ended September 30. A new one-month agreement was reached only a few hours before the old one expired. According to gas transmission system operator Moldovagaz, this meant Gazprom had no means of reserving the necessary transit capacity via Ukraine.
Moldova’s government was already in talks on obtaining gas supplies from Poland via Ukraine.
“We believe that the current difficulties will encourage Moldova to diversify its sources of gas supply and further integrate with the EU and implement the EU gas regulations," added Yaroslav Mudryy, a managing partner at ERU.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen on October 21 described the events in Moldova as a case study in how Russia uses gas as a geopolitical tool. There is speculation that Russia is exerting pressure on Moldova in response to its election of a pro-West president, Maia Sandu, last year.
"Nothing commercial, just brutal geopolitics," Stanislav Secrieru, an analyst at the EU Institute for Security Studies, said.