A recent study signed by experts Sergiu Tofilat, Victor Parlicov and Tudor Soitu proves that Moldova-Gaz has paid about $ 1.3 billion as direct subsidies to the Transnistrian separatist regime in the years 2007-2016. Although the natural gas was offered, these resources were converted by the Tiraspol administration in budgetary resources, which different wages and social obligation, payments to support bureaucracy and defense and security were paid, giving thus separatist vital resources for the survival of the regime. These funds covered about 35.3% of the total budget of this region in the last 10 years. The irony of this is that Moldova is a minority shareholder in a company, which finances a separatist regime on the own sovereign territory.
The authors of the study, released on April 12, 2017, claim that this happened because Moldova does not use any control lever control of the monopolist – company, Moldova Gaz, a subsidiary company of the Russian concern Gazprom. The energy sector makes the country vulnerable because 85% of primary energy consumed comes from outside the area controlled by the national authorities and almost 100% of natural gas is purchased from Gazprom via Moldova-Gaz. Relations between these companies with the Government of Moldova are often unstable and ambiguous.
Gazprom interests in Moldova were almost always strictly political rather than economic. Its work served as the operational platform for the promotion of the Russian strategic agenda, which was limited to: maintaining the country depending on the overall energy, maintenance of the Transnistrian conflict in a frozen state, and strengthening the role of Russia as a hegemon mediator in prioritizing development country, says Victor Parlicov energy expert of IDIS Viitorul. In turn, Tudor Soitu said that "natural gas sector has undergone a raider attack in the country, which lasted four years (1994-1998) and happened at least in two stages. Following a series of decision makers in Moldova, as well as swelling debt and artificially undervaluing of assets, S.A.D. "Gazprom" has obtained control over enterprises which have the critical infrastructure for transport and distribution of natural gas in our state, say the experts say the Policy paper "Impunity and renter understanding in the energy sector of the country”.
Sergiu Tofilat said big businesses in the Russian Federation have used several fraudulent schemes in the Transnistrian region, using the subsidies for natural gas, recovering up to now about 1.8 billion US dollars. Unfortunately, these schemes were made with the participation of stakeholders in Chisinau.
The authors of the publication recommend authorities to urgently review Moldovan policies in relation to energy companies in the context of the Transnistrian debt for gas. As long as the current contracting scheme works and there is no solution for liabilities related to natural gas consumption on the left bank, the economic activity of such enterprises from the Transnistrian region leads to the inevitable worsening of the debt problem for gas.
The study provides an assessment of overall conditions, mechanisms, and tools through which authorities can restore the legality in the energy sector, defending the interests of citizens in their capacity as final consumers of energy and taxpayers. The study is done in a case of public interest.
The publication can be downloaded here.
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