Consumers should pay for natural gas at the old prices, since the backdating decision on natural gas tariff increase violates the laws, former Moldavian Prime Minister Ion Chicu said on Friday
CHISINAU (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 28th January, 2022) Consumers should pay for natural gas at the old prices, since the backdating decision on natural gas tariff increase violates the laws, former Moldavian Prime Minister Ion Chicu said on Friday.
The National Agency for Energy Regulation of Moldova (ANRE) approved on Friday an increase of the tariff of natural gas from $569 to $785 per 1,000 cubic meters. At the request of national energy operator Moldovagaz, the tariff came into effect retroactively, on January 1.
"ANRE has taken a backdating decision to increase natural gas tariff effective from January 1, 2022, which appears to be a gross violation of laws. A full boycott of illegitimate tariffs. Let's pay for the gas consumed in January at the existing tariff," Chicu posted on Telegram.
The former prime minister also noted that in December 2019, ANRE had already moved to backdate the natural gas tariff, which was later cancelled by the Moldavian Supreme Court of Justice, since ANRE's decisions are standard acts, and standard acts cannot be backdated.
The contract for gas supply between Moldovagaz and Russian gas giant Gazprom expired in September, and Gazprom said it had decreased the volume of gas supply until Moldovagaz could pay outstanding debt.
On October 29, the Moldavian authorities made a deal to extend the gas deliveries contract for five years, with Moldovagaz undertaking the obligation to carry out a debt audit in 2022. By the end of November, Moldova owed $74.2 million in debt to Gazprom for gas provided in October and November. On November 25, the Moldavian parliament approved amendments to the state budget for 2021 to allocate money to pay the debt. A new contract at a higher price for gas was signed by both companies on October 29 for a five-year period. In January, Moldovagaz said it was unable to pay Gazprom for current energy sources, as the price had risen from $450 to $646 per thousand cubic meters. On January 20, the republic's parliament ordered a state of emergency for 60 days to manage the issue.