Moldova Runs out of Cash to Pay Gazprom’s August Bill

Moldova will not be able to honour its payment obligations for August for gas from Gazprom, the director of Moldovagaz, Vadim Ceban, told BIRN on Thursday.

"We hope we can get an extension of the payment term. The deadline is August 20, but I think we can also pay on August 22," Ceban told BIRN.

He said there is money for the July bill but not for the advance that must be paid to Gazprom in August. "The invoice to Gazprom for August is 18 million dollars. We managed to collect 14 million dollars for July," Ceban said.

Moldovagaz is a subsidiary of the Russian energy giant, which owns a majority stake. The Moldovan state owns 35.5 per cent of the shares.

Ceban said he had requested a payment delay from Gazprom for the advance payment for August but had not received any response.

"I don't see how we can request an increase in the tariff for consumers. In this situation … the only thing that can help us at the moment is a respite and a postponement of the payment," Ceban said.

Ceban also appealed to the Moldovan authorities to postpone VAT payments.

Previously, Moldovagaz requested a rise in the tariff to 29.48 lei [about 1.5 euros] per cubic meter of gas, citing the fact that in August, the purchase price for gas was 1,458 US dollars per thousand cubic meters, and in September it could reach 1,692 dollars.

On August 4, the National Energy Regulatory Agency, ANRE, approved a smaller price rise for consumers from 18.62 lei to 23 lei [1.2 euros] per cubic meter.

Gazprom has previously warned that it will not make concessions to Moldova, and that if the payment deadline is not respected, it will stop deliveries within 48 hours.

The Public Property Agency of Moldova, APP, has contracted independent...

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