From January 1, Moldova may be left without Russian gas, and Transnistria will have to part with its independence. In this case, the source of the same gas will determine the degree of loss. If he goes to the unrecognized republic from Moldova, Chisinau will manage its eastern region through a gas valve. If Ukraine becomes a supplier, Tiraspol will have to reckon with its interests. The Moldovan authorities are conducting gas negotiations with Russia, Ukraine and the EU. But in order to buy gas in Europe by reverse, you need it to be.
The Republic of Moldova today has only one contract for the purchase of gas - with the Russian company Gazprom, but the discussion on diversification of gas supply sources is conducted in three directions. The first is to review the contract or conclude a two-year contract with Gazprom, so that Moldova has time until the completion of the Ungheni gas pipeline (a city on the border with Romania) - Chisinau, which will be ready by March next year. Work is ongoing with partners from Romania to expedite the process.
At the same time, negotiations are underway with Ukraine - on the supply of gas through the northern regions of Moldova. Another area in terms of gas supply sources is the Turk Stream gas pipeline.
Work is underway with the Bulgarian side through whose territory this pipeline will pass in order to bring gas to the southern part of the Republic of Moldova
It should be noted that the debt of the Transnistrian region to Gazprom is not the debt of the Republic of Moldova. Chisinau will not pay the gas bills of Transnistria.
As for the Romanian vector, through which both Romanian and European (purchased from Russia) gas can flow to Moldova, there has been talk about this for several years. Now we are talking about the construction of a pipeline section on the territory of Moldova - to the border with Romania. But even if it is extended and connected to the Romanian, it will not become a worker until gas is launched into it. And in Romania, its gas is enough only for itself; it can sell blue fuel to Moldova from the Russian Federation to Moldova.
Meanwhile, the head of Gazprom Alexei Miller and Moldavian President Igor Dodon discussed the supply of Russian gas to the republic. The parties agreed to negotiate the terms of the new gas supply and transit contracts from January 1, 2020. The problem lies in the features of the gas delivery infrastructure and previous routes. As you know, the existing transit contracts between Russia and Ukraine expire on December 31 of this year, and for Moldova this route is the only one through which it is able to receive energy. If something happens that does not allow the continuation of transit, Ukraine will block it. At the height of winter, Moldova will simply be left without blue fuel. ” An agreement on gas transit through Ukrainian territory should appear before December. But in Chisinau they admit that it may not happen. And in this case, the Moldovan authorities began negotiations with Kiev over the supply of gas from the EU through Ukraine, as well as about the possible lease of part of the Ukrainian gas storages. Earlier, Ukrtransgaz has already sent an offer to the leaders of the Moldovan gas industry to create their own gas insurance reserve in Ukrainian underground storages.
Vice President of the European Commission Marosh Shefchovich suggested concluding a long-term, at least 10-year, contract with Gazprom, guaranteeing the pumping of at least 60 billion cubic meters. m per year. This, of course, is a subject in order to start negotiations, but they will be deliberately long and difficult, experts say, emphasizing that it is not known whether Gazprom will agree to such conditions.
The situation is aggravated by the fact that on January 1, 2020, the Trans-Balkan gas pipeline - Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey - ceases to operate, as the “Turkish Stream” begins to operate. Meanwhile, this gas pipeline may become one of the directions for the possible supply of gas to Moldova and Transnistria.
Transnistria has one more opportunity - to receive gas from the EU through Ukraine, bypassing Moldova. But will Kiev do this, knowing that Chisinau is against? And if Chisinau gives the go-ahead, then Transnistria will depend not only on the Moldovan, but also on the Ukrainian authorities.