Russia leverages gas in attempt to weaken Moldova’s ties with EU – Financial TimesReading Time: < 1 minutes
Russian state-owned Gazprom has offered Moldova a new and improved gas-supply contract on condition that it drops its tariff-free trade deal with the EU and postpones the energy market reforms it has agreed with the bloc, the Financial Times wrote, citing sources familiar with the negotiations.
Russia, which supplies and controls the transit of all of Moldova’s gas, cut shipments by one-third after a long-standing supply contract expired at the beginning of October. An interim agreement with tariffs over three times higher was agreed, which will run out at the end of the month. Moldovan President Maia Sandu, who was elected last year on an anti-corruption and pro-EU platform, declared a state of emergency on 22 October.
Although the Kremlin denies weaponising gas supplies, EU high representative of foreign affairs Joseph Borrell accused Russia of using energy as a bargaining chip with Moldova on Thursday. “Price increases around the world are not a consequence of weaponisation of the gas supply, but in the case of Moldova, yes it is”, he told reporters.