Moldova began procuring natural gas from Poland instead of Russia, in an attempt to avoid gas shortages during the winter after failing to renew a long-term supply agreement with Moscow.

The former Soviet republic with 3.5 million inhabitants received one million cubic meters of gas from a Polish supplier yesterday, after many years of dependence on Russia.

Moldovan President Maja Sandu announced today that the European Union has promised her country 60 million euros in aid in order to overcome the gas crisis.

Moldova procured all natural gas from Russia until September, when negotiations on a new contract with the Russian state company Gazprom failed.

Gazprom announced over the weekend that Moldova, the poorest European country, needs to settle a huge debt of 610 million euros in order for the contract to be extended.

The Russian company warned that it would suspend the delivery of gas to Moldova on December 1, if it does not settle the debt by then.

Gazprom extended the contract for a month, but at a higher price of $ 790 per cubic meter, which Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Andrej Spinu said was not in the interest of the country’s citizens.

Moldova reached an agreement with Polish supplier PGNiG a week after its parliament declared a one-month state of emergency, because Gazprom cut gas supplies by a third and raised energy prices, at a time of their sharp jump to record levels around the world.//

By Editor

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