Russian giant Gazprom could halt gas deliveries to Moldova if the country does not pay for its previous deliveries or sign a contract from December, said one of its representatives, quoted by Russian agencies.

Moldova declared a state of emergency for 30 days on Friday in an effort to guarantee the ex-Soviet country cheaper natural gas from Europe after Moscow, its traditional supplier, raised prices.

A new contract for Christmas?

Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said Chisinau owed the company $ 709 million (€ 610 million).

Moldova's contract with Gazprom expired in September, but Sergei Kupriyanov said the two sides were able to "meet halfway" and extend the contract to October.

"If payment for gas supplies is not made in full and a contract is not signed from December, then Gazprom will stop gas deliveries to Moldova," he said, quoted by the Interfax press agency.

“Unjustified and unrealistic” prices

This country of 2.6 million inhabitants, located between Romania and Ukraine, gets its gas supplies from Russia via its pro-Russian separatist region of Transnistria and Ukraine.

Gazprom had raised prices from $ 550 per thousand cubic meters last month to $ 790 this month, a level Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu called "unjustified and unrealistic" for the poorest country. from Europe.

Despite the contract extension, Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita said on Friday that the country was receiving a third less natural gas than usual for the month of October.

“We are facing a critical situation,” she lamented.

She told Parliament that Moldova would seek supplies from EU countries, thanking Romania and Ukraine for having already supplied gas.

Moldova's gas shortages come amid skyrocketing gas prices in Europe that some countries have blamed on Moscow, which has failed to provide additional supplies to put pressure on the continent.

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