Moldova’s Energy Crisis Deepens

About 50 countries met in Paris on Monday to promise aid for Moldova, as the country’s energy crisis amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is deepening. Moldovan President Sandu warned the nation’s people on Monday to brace for a harsh winter. The EU has been concerned that Moldova, located between Ukraine and Romania, could be further destabilized by the conflict. “This war is endangering the supply of electricity and gas. We are not certain we can find enough … to heat and light our homes, and even if we do, the prices are unaffordable for our people and economy. This could jeopardise our social peace and security,” Sandu told delegates in a speech.

“I know everyone in Europe pays a very high price for energy but these same prices have a much more ruinous impact on our country and people.”

Sandu’s remarks included a waning that Moldova’s democracy was under attack by what she described as Russian-backed criminal groups organizing weekly protests demanding her resignation.

“Anti-government protests in Chisinau – this is part of a hybrid war against Moldova directly financed by Russia, which every week pays participants to take part,” she said. “We must work together to stop these groups.”

Sandu also said that Moldova’s GDP in 2022 is expected to drop 8% against previous estimations of zero growth.

Moldova is one of the country’s that has been most affected by the Ukraine crisis and the subsequent food and energy price hikes. It has also taken more Ukrainian refugees per capita than any other country.

Moldova relies exclusively on Russia’s Gazprom for gas imports and is largely dependent on Russian energy.

With winter arriving and Moscow slashing natural gas supplies by about 40%, its ability to supply enough electricity to its population is in jeopardy.

Donor conferences in Berlin and Bucharest earlier this year brought pledges of €659 million and €615 million euros, respectively. But the figures included some repeated pledges, project financing and promises to inject money into the economy rather than direct budgetary support.

French President Macron said at the conference that Paris would provide an additional €100 million to help Moldova’s immediate needs.

“We must not yield to (war) fatigue or the idea this will end quickly,” Macron said.

Germany had pledged about 32.5 million euros for renewable energy, infrastructure and refugee aid.

“We will not leave Moldova alone in cold or darkness, nor in a looming recession,” German Foreign Minister Baerbock said.

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