Ordinary Moldovans Will Suffer in Winter Due to Sandu’s Provocative Anti-Russia Policies
Monday, October 18, 2021
Paul Antonopoulos, independent geopolitical analyst
The head of Moldovagaz, Vadim Ceban, said that there is nothing complicated in saving gas consumption, especially at a time when Moldova is facing a crisis due to the absence of a contract with Gazprom. His recommendation? “Do not boil a full teapot for just one cup of coffee.” This was the advice he offered as Europe, with Moldova being no exception, faces a cold winter if the gas dispute continues to be politicized and unresolved. The pro-Western authorities of Moldova are deliberately delaying negotiations with Gazprom on the supply of gas in 2022 in order to present the Russian company as an unreliable partner in the eyes of the Europeans, and as a result, ordinary Moldovans are being told how to change their consumer habits.
On the same day Moldovans were told not to fill their kettles with water to save gas, the Vice President of the Parliament Mihai Popșoi announced that Moldovan authorities invited to Chisinau the Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation, Dmitri Kozak, as well as Gazprom representatives to address the issue of natural gas deliveries. This invitation came after Sandu and the president of the Parliament Igor Grosu declared with a lot of arrogance that they were not going to talk to Gazprom representatives.
Sandu was led to believe by Washington that her country would gain advantages by adopting a hostile policy towards Moscow and without endangering their own national interests. Effectively, she thought she could antagonize Russia but continue to receive natural gas at preferential prices. Considering the vast power difference between Moldova, Europe’s poorest country, and Russia, one of the world’s Great Powers, this was a severe miscalculation by Sandu and her administration.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last Wednesday at the opening of the meeting of Commonwealth of Independent States special services leaders that the U.S. and EU are interfering unprecedentedly in Moldova’s internal affairs and even banned Sandu from discussing normal relations with Moscow. In fact, Sandu did not deny this charge by Lavrov.
It is recalled that Sandu, a former World Bank economist, made her first trip abroad in January as president of Moldova to meet with her Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev. Both leaders are enthusiastic to see their countries absorbed into the EU and NATO, and for this reason they discussed “mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity” and their willingness to face “geopolitical challenges” together against a common “aggressor” – never directly naming Russia though.
If the pair conspired back in January against Moscow, particularly over attempting to isolate the country in Europe and create issues over the disputed territory of Transnistria that is wedged between Moldova and Ukraine, it has now been reversed as both countries are coming to the stark realization on how reliant they are on Russia for heating and their economy.
Ukraine led the charge in being agent provocateur against Russia in Europe on behalf of Washington, but in the end will now lose billions of dollars in desperately needed transit fees once Nord Stream 2 is properly activated. It appears though that Ukraine is set to hurt again, especially if Moldova decides to not allow their citizens to suffer during the winter and finalizes a deal with Gazprom.
Hungary achieved an advantageous contract with Gazprom regarding the delivery of gas at the end of September, which includes bypassing Ukraine. In the case of Moldova, there are technical possibilities to deliver gas to the country via Romania, thus Ukraine would lose even more on transit fees.
In this way, even if Moldova does not reach a swift agreement with Gazprom, it will still be reliant on Russian gas, but with it just arriving through other means. Pipes in Romania could also provide Transnistria with gas in reverse. Therefore, the problem is in the political decision of Chisinau. Yet, for all of Moldova’s provocations and attempts to portray Russia as being at fault for the gas crisis, reality will be hitting hard soon as Moldova must make their decision before November 1 – the date when they could run out of gas.
Most Europeans have begrudgingly acknowledged that abnormal weather activity earlier this year and delays to Nord Stream 2 are at fault for the gas crisis. For all of Sandu’s insistence, it will not convince major European countries to blame Russia for the gas crisis or force them to create tensions with Moscow for the sake of non-EU member Moldova, especially with a cold winter just weeks away.
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