Moldova to enact state of emergency due to natural gas shortage

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Flames from a gas burner are reflected on a cooker in a private home in Bad Honnef near Bonn, Germany, October 11, 2021. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

CHISINAU, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Moldova will introduce a state of emergency in the energy sector due to a supply shortage of natural gas and the absence of a new energy deal with Russia's Gazprom (GAZP.MM), Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu said on Wednesday.

Moldova wants to negotiate gas supplies from neighbouring Romania and Ukraine while hoping to sign a new contract with Gazprom by the end of the month, Spinu said.

"Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, we are scheduled to negotiate with Gazprom," he told a briefing. "We want to sign a contract for gas supplies from Gazprom on good terms for the population of Moldova," Spinu said.

Gazprom declined comment.

In the state of emergency, which will start from Thursday, energy companies are given more powers, though the exact details have not been published yet.

Moldova's contract with Gazprom expired at the end of September. The government asked for an extension but balked at the price offered by Gazprom of $790 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas.

The opposition blamed President Maia Sandu, saying she should have travelled to Moscow in person to negotiate a new deal. Sandu said the deal should be negotiated by companies and not the president.

Sandu, who favours closer ties with the European Union, defeated her pro-Russian predecessor Igor Dodon in a presidential election last year.

Reporting by Alexander Tanas in Chisinau and Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow; writing by Matthias Williams; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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