Moldovagaz says it only receives Russian gas when payments are made

Oct 01, 1999 02:00 AM

Representatives of Moldovagaz, the joint venture that co-ordinates shipments of Russian gas to Moldova, said that Gazprom had abandoned its old delivery schedule.
The Russian gas monopoly is now sending gas only when it receives payment, they said. As a result, Moldova has received less Russian fuel than expected this year -- only 70-80% of projected volumes, they added.
The Moldovagaz reps noted that Gazprom managers had agreed during Moldovan President Petru Lucinschi's visit to Moscow in early September to accept some payment in kind. However, Chisinau will not be able to meet its obligations to pay for some gas with foodstuffs -- namely fruits and vegetables -- as Moldovan farmers have reported a poor harvest this year.
Moldovagaz spokesmen also noted that only about 25% of Moldova's population is able to pay for public services such as gas, water and power.
Chisinau announced in August that it wanted to sell its entire 35% stake in Moldovagaz. Remaining equity in the joint venture is split 51% to the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom and 14% to Transdnistria, a region populated mostly by ethnic Russians and controlled by politicians favouring secession from Moldova.
The joint venture was set up in April of this year and controls Moldova's entire gas sector. Moldovan officials have said that the sale, which will be assisted by the World Bank, would reduce Chisinau's debt for past deliveries of Russian gas from $ 150 million to $ 103 million.

Source: NewsBase
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