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Bypassing Russia, Gazprom, Greece Signs Gas Deal with Moldova

ATHENS – A relatively warm winter reducing the need on Russian energy supplies that were exempted from European Union sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine saw Greece looking elsewhere for gas, now including Moldova.

Moldova]s state-owned Energocom signed a gas supply contract with Greek gas operator DEPA, Moldova’s Energy Minister, Victor Parlicov said after visiting Greece, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

He said that Energocom “is the first, and so far the only, company in the world that has practical experience using the Greece-Bulgaria-Romania-Moldova-Ukraine ‘vertical corridor,’” as an advantage.

“Last season’s experience of Energocom using the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector showed the feasibility of using the Trans-Balkan gas pipeline in reverse mode,” he said of the conduit.

Moldova had purchased gas exclusively from Russia until Autumn 2021, when the country started to diversify, relying especially on supplies from Romania and he said that Moldova and Greece’s cooperation in the natural gas sector will make it possible to better utilize underground gas storage facilities in Ukraine to improve the security of gas supply to Central Europe in winter. Thanks to the contract between Energocom and DEPA, Moldova “will be able to purchase gas, taking advantage of favorable market conditions,” Parlicov said, Greece having relied on Russia for up to 40 percent of its needs.

The European Federation of Energy Traders) contract is a framework contract that precedes any sale and purchase agreement. The conclusion of such a contract is mandatory for companies operating in the European Union, Energocom noted.

“Greece today is a strategic center in terms of available energy sources,” said Energocom’s Acting Director Victor Binzari. “It has one liquefied natural gas terminal, and the second one will be ready by the end of the year. This terminal receives gas from several geographical locations, from the East, the United States, and Africa, and the prices are favorable,” he said.

Source : The National Herald