Moldovan President Says Rational Energy Consumption Required

CHISINAU (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 21st January, 2022) Moldovan President Maia Sandu on Thursday called on citizens to consume energy rationally during the crisis, as the government cannot fully make up for the increase in gas prices.

In January, the Moldovan gas company Moldovagaz said it was unable to pay the Russian gas giant Gazprom for current energy sources, as the price has risen from $450 to $646 per thousand cubic meters. Today, the republic's parliament ordered a state of emergency for 60 days to manage the issue. Meanwhile, gas prices are expected to rise by 30% in February.

"Increase in gas prices and, consequently, in other energy sources became a burden for household consumers, economy and the country, we are fully dependent on the market prices in the region and the situation on the market is far from normal nowadays. We must learn to consume energy more rationally, we need thermal insulation of houses we live in, we need to save energy in public institutions - this is the only way we can decrease expenses on heating and electricity," Sandu said in an address to the nation shared on her Facebook page.

She went on to say that Moldova is forced to import energy resources as the country does not have any natural fossil fuels, and former governments neglected to invest in renewable energy.

She highlighted that the government cannot compensate for the increase in gas prices, otherwise other needs will be left underfunded.

The contract for gas supply between Moldovagaz and Gazprom expired in September, and Gazprom decreased the volume of supply until Moldovagaz had paid the debt. By the end of November, Moldova had a $74.2 million debt to Gazprom for gas provided in October and November. On November 25, the Moldovan parliament approved amendments to the state budget for 2021 to allocate money to pay the debt. The new contract between the companies was signed on October 29 for five years at a higher price.