Moldova says Russia’s Gazprom cuts gas supplies by 30%

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CHISINAU, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Russia’s Gazprom GAZP.MM cut natural gas supplies to Moldova on Saturday by around 30%, the director of gas firm Moldovagaz, Vadim Ceban, said. 

A day earlier, deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu said Gazprom had warned Moldova about the reduction in supplies. 

Spinu said on Saturday that technical problems were behind the reduction and the country would ask Gazprom to increase supplies.

“The reason for the reduction in gas supply…was explained by Gazprom too late,” Spinu told a news conference, adding that technical problems could not be considered an “objective reason”.

Spinu said Moldova had around 53.5 million cubic meters of gas in underground storage in Ukraine and Romania which could be ussiaused. 

The country also plans to save gas by using fuel oil in its power generation units.

Ceban said earlier that Moldovagaz had paid Gazprom $23.9 million on Friday to cover the remainder of a late advance payment for September natural gas supplies and close the debt of $35.9 million.

There had been fears in Moldova that Gazprom could cut off gas supply to one of Europe’s poorest countries from Oct. 1.

(Reporting by Alexander Tanas, writing by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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