OREANDA-NEWS. The Financial Times, citing sources that are familiar with the course of the gas negotiations between Moldova and Gazprom, report that the real reason for Gazprom's refusal to conclude a new agreement with Moldova was Russia's desire to take advantage of the situation and force the republic to abandon integration with the European Union.

According to the newspaper, Moscow has offered to postpone the energy market reforms, which have already been agreed with Brussels, in exchange for a 25 percent discount on gas. After Chisinau did not accept such a condition, it was demanded to repay the debt for fuel supplies in the amount of $ 709 million, which had been accumulating since the mid-1990s.

Sources say the gas talks are part of a broader process of building new relations with Moldova for the Kremlin. However, the relationship had to be revised after Igor Dodon left the presidency, and was replaced by Maia Sandu, who advocates the development of relations with the European Union.

The previous contract for gas supplies expired on September 30, after which the cost of fuel for the republic more than tripled. The talks on October 21-22 in Moscow ended in vain. From December 1, Gazprom threatens to completely stop the sale, even at the current price, if the republic does not pay off its debt in full.

Against this background, Chisinau began negotiations with Poland and Ukraine on gas supplies. The state-owned company Energocom signed an agreement with Naftogaz of Ukraine on supplies, if necessary, up to 700 million cubic meters, and also signed contracts for the purchase of one million cubic meters from the Polish PGNiG and the Dutch Vitol.