Moldova declares state of emergency due to energy deficit | News
The Parliament of Moldova approved this Thursday in a special session the state of emergency throughout the territory of that European country due to the lack of natural gas and tensions with other energy sources.
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A total of 50 deputies, out of 101 that make up the Legislative, voted in favor of the measure, which was rejected by the Communist and Socialist group (opposition) and will be in force for a period of 60 days. The state of emergency was adopted at the request of Moldovan President Maia Sandu, and the initiative was presented to Parliament by Prime Minister Natalia Gavrílitsa.
The Government alleges that the deficit of this resource, which adds to tensions with other energy sources during the winter season, directly and immediately affects the security of the State and citizens.
To recommend the declaration of emergency, the Moldovan government based itself on a report from the Commission for Exceptional Situations, an entity that will ensure that urgent measures are taken to quickly supply consumers and inform them about the causes of the crisis with gas and the strategy to overcome it.
Media outlets state that Moldova annually imports around 3,000 million cubic meters of this item to cover its internal demand and currently has a deficit of 33 percent.
The nation of 2.6 million people only produced 20 percent of the energy it consumes as of 2018, and relies on imported fossil fuels and electricity.
A significant part of the gas it purchases comes from Russia. The small country has pending payment of a debt of 700 million dollars to the Gazprom company, with which it signed a five-year supply contract at the end of October 2021.
According to that contract, Moldova has to disburse the payment for the first two weeks of January. On Wednesday, Gazprom notified the national gas pipeline operator, MoldovaGaz, that it could shut down supply if payment is not made.
According to international media, the long-term contract is advantageous for that nation, which acquires the gas at an amount lower than the European market prices, which are currently around 1,000 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters.
In December, the price of gas supplied by Gazprom to Moldova amounted to 550 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters, and in January – 647 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters.
During the session in Parliament, Gavrílitsa reiterated that the Government is seeking to make purchases through alternative means, for which it is exploring the possibilities of importing gas from Romania and Ukraine.