Moldova gets $70 mln from EU to help with energy crisis

76th Session of the General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York
Moldova's President Maia Sandu addresses the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, U.S., September 22, 2021. John Angelillo/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

CHISINAU, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Moldova has received a 60 million euro ($70 million) grant from the European Union to help with its energy crisis, Moldovan President Maia Sandu said on Wednesday.

Moldova's gas contract with Russia's Gazprom (GAZP.MM) expired at the end of September, and the two have failed to agree on a new price.

In the last few days, Moldova has been buying some gas in Europe and the government has said it will continue talks with Gazprom.

Moldova's Energocom state energy firm said on Wednesday it had bought 1.5 million cubic meters (mcm) of gas with the delivery set for Oct. 28 via Ukraine and Romania. The gas would be supplied by DXT Commodities and PGNiG.

The government has said it plans to buy around 5 mcm of gas by the end of October. It declined to give prices for the purchases.

Gazprom has said it will suspend gas exports to Moldova if it is not paid for previous supplies and a contract for December has yet to be signed.

"The 60 million euro grant support to help manage the current energy crisis is great news for the #Moldovan people," Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita said in a separate statement.

Moldova, which is holding fresh talks with Gazprom on Wednesday, declared a state of emergency last week.

The Kremlin on Wednesday denied a media report which suggested the Russian company was using gas talks with Chisinau to try to extract political concessions and said the negotiations were purely commercial.

Moldova, currently ruled by the pro-Western government of President Sandu, was one of the Soviet Union's 15 republics and has been at the centre of a political tug of influence between Russia and the West since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

($1 = 0.8629 euros)

Reporting by Alexander Tanas in Chisinau and Pavel Polityuk in Kyiv; Editing by Alison Williams, Mark Potter and Aurora Ellis

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