European Union chief diplomat Josep Borrel said Thursday that Moldova has fallen victim to Russia's attempts to use natural gas as a "weapon" to "intimidate its neighbor." This was reported by Reuters.
Moldova's gas contract with Russia's Gazprom expired at the end of September, and the two sides could not agree on a new price because Chisinau rejected Gazprom's offer to double the price that Moldova used to pay.
The Kremlin on Wednesday objected to the claim that the Russian company was using gas talks with Chisinau to make political concessions, but EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell rejected the argument.
"Globally, rising prices worldwide are not a consequence of gas supplies, but in the case of Moldova, yes," Borrel said at a press conference with Prime Minister
"Gazprom said it would suspend gas exports to Moldova, which borders Romania and Ukraine, if it is not paid for previous deliveries.
"Moldova needs to consider the political characteristics ... this sharp (price) increase related to political problems that needs our support," Borrell said, referring to the 60 million euros ($70 million) grant from the EU to help with the energy crisis that was agreed this week. It will affect Moldova's most vulnerable people.
Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita said Moldovan officials continue negotiations with Gazprom in St. Petersburg and hope for an "affordable" long-term contract.
As a reminder, the Moldovan Parliament has voted to impose the state of emergency in the country from October 22 to November 20 because of gas shortages. "Gazprom" on October 23, threatened to refuse further deliveries of gas to Moldova, if the latter does not pay off the debt and does not agree on the terms of a new contract. Two days of gas negotiations between Moscow and Chisinau yielded no results.