Prime-Minister Victor Ponta visits Moldovan counterpart

Romania is currently able to invest in R. Moldova in energy interconnection projects, so that the neighbouring country can permanently count on two different gas and electricity supply sources, as well as the possibility to choose the cheapest option, Prime-Minister Victor Ponta said during his visit to the Republic of Moldova, on Thursday, where he was received by his counterpart, Chiril Gaburici.

‘You should always have two sources – both gas and electricity – and choose the best, the cheapest and safest one. Romania is able, it now has the necessary resources – economic growth, our energy companies reported important profit in 2014 – and we can invest in R. Moldova’, Ponta said during a press conference. He also pointed out that the only thing needed was for political agreements to be implemented.

Prime-Ministers V. Ponta and C. Gaburici signed, in Chisinau, a memorandum of understanding between the Governments of Romania and of R. Moldova on the implementation of the projects for the interconnection of the two countries’ natural gas and electricity networks, according to Moldpres.

‘For 2015 there are important projects, concrete and doable on a  short to medium term, on energy interconnection. ‘You should always have two sources – both gas and electricity – and choose the best, the cheapest and safest one. Romania has the necessary resources and is capable to do that. Our energy companies reported a profit for 2014 and we are able to invest in R, Moldova’, PM Victor Ponta said.

Chiril Gaburici in turn stressed that, after the signing of the memorandum of understanding, the premises were created for the integration of R. Moldova on the EU energy market. ‘The interconnections on the electricity and natural gas market do not mean that we are renouncing other traditional suppliers of natural gas and electricity, but provide a diversification of sources and energy security for the Republic of Moldova. We believe this is a project of strategic importance for the country’, the Moldovan premier said.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed in Chisinau on Thursday is for extending the Iasi-Ungheni gas pipeline up to Chisinau, in the Moldovan territory and down to Onesti, in Romania. In the area of electricity, the document includes the first interconnection in the South: Isaccea (Romania) – Vulcanesti – Chisinau. The next step will be a feasibility study for the second interconnection. The selected investment projects will secure the diversification of gas and electricity supply sources, as well as an increase of the number of alternative suppliers. A mechanism of cooperation will be set up between the authorities of the two neighbouring states in view of coordinating the interconnection projects and for applying with the European Union for co-financing, Moldpres notes.

The energy interconnection projects between R. Moldova and Romania (EU) will be implemented from 2015 to 2018. The sum needed is approximately EUR 750 M, of which EUR 421 M in Moldova.

The signing of the Memorandum is part of the measures designed to provide energy security to R. Moldova, integration on the single European energy market and preparation of necessary projects for the delivery of energy from Romania to Moldova on a long term. The Memorandum of Understanding will also enable the consolidation of the partnership in the energy field between R, Moldova and Romania and will contribute to the implementation of energy projects of interconnection with the EU, both for electricity and natural gas, Moldpres notes.

The Romanian PM also told his Moldovan counterpart that the situation of the Romanian citizen George Simion, expelled from R. Moldova, should be analysed by a Court. The PM added that, if he was found to have broken the law, no one would challenge that decision.

‘As between friends, we also addressed some of the problems that we have, that our special relations mean we should protect our citizens, make sure all their rights are observed and ask them not to abuse those rights. I expressed hope and made a request to PM Gaburici to protect all Romanian nationals travelling to Moldova, to respect their rights and have the justice system punish them if they do something wrong. Both in Romania and in Moldova the judiciary is independent therefore it man decide without the possibility of speculation that those were administrative decisions. I mean the situation of the Romanian citizen George Simion. I am convinced that the justice system in Moldova will make the correct decision, one that no one will challenge’, Victor Ponta said during a press conference together with the prime minister of Moldova, in Chisinau, according to Mediafax.

The leader of the ‘Action 2012’ movement, George Simion, was expelled last week from R. Moldova, with a ban for entering the country for a period or five years.

Simion – a Romanian citizen – was detained by the agents of the Moldovan Intelligence and Security Agency and was shortly expelled from the country, also receiving an interdiction from re-entering.


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