Gas dispute between Moscow and Chișinău resolved

The ex-Soviet republic of Moldova and Russia have settled their gas dispute for the time being by signing a new five-year supply contract. In the course of the dispute the Republic of Moldova also negotiated a supply contract with Poland. Commentators see the episode as instructive on several levels.

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Contributors (RO) /

Shifting focus to the West pays off again

Looking for new supply markets turns out to be the best strategy for the country, notes Contributors:

“This test has shown that the country only needs to turn to the West to survive, and that it must free itself from its energy dependence, just as it did in 2014 when there was a Russian embargo on Moldovan wines. Back then Moldova's market quickly turned towards Europe, with the result that the price of Moldovan wine rose, and Moldova only stands to benefit from putting an end to its economic dependence on Russia now.”

Belsat (PL) /

A big success for a small country

Belsat, the Polish foreign broadcaster for Belarus, also sees the Moldovan side emerging strengthened from the dispute:

“Although Chișinău's behaviour during the crisis was marked by nervousness, inexperience and a certain amount of chaos, in the end it did much better than the Russians had expected. David didn't beat Goliath this time, but he didn't get knocked out either. And that's already a big success in such an unequal fight.” (RU) /

There are no cheaper alternatives to Gazprom

Katya Yafimava of the Gas Research Programme at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies draws conclusions for the entire Eastern European gas market on

“The Moldovan crisis has demonstrated that no European supplier will sell gas at a price below hub level and that any country - especially where the EU acquis is being implemented - can be sure that Gazprom's price will not be higher than the price set by the European hubs and may be lower (which could make Gazprom a preferred supplier in countries with weaker economies). ... The ongoing European gas supply crunch this winter has demonstrated the limitations of EU [energy] diversification efforts. It is important to recognize this and encourage countries in the shared EU-Russia neighborhood to create gas markets on which both Gazprom and non-Gazprom exporters can compete.”