Well, we here in PMR managed to dodge two bullets today, but just barely.
First, Gazprom waited until literally the last minute to announce this:
So, it looks like Moldova ponied up both the money for next month’s advance (roughly $24 million) and for last month’s consumption (roughly $40 million), including that missing gas, so the taps are going to remain open for now.
Well, that’s a relief!
However, doing a deep dive through Moldovan media, I didn’t see any statements from the authorities about where that money came from.
Since taking it out of the budget would’ve gotten at least some reaction, I have to assume it came from all the sweet European Union and American government money that’s been raining down on Maia Sandu this month.
Also, it seems like everyone has just accepted the fact now that Moldova is “storing” gas in Ukraine via a virtual reverse. But after doing my research for the last story, I realized that Moldova is only certified to do virtual reverses (backhauling) via its gas terminal on the border of Romania (the Trans-Balkan pipeline) and not at any of its three terminals on the border of Ukraine.
In other words, that gas that Moldova is “storing” in Ukraine is definitely stolen and with the approval of the Moldovan government. Aside from the engineers at Gazprom (who published this info last week), will anyone else besides me figure that out any time soon? Ha! Not likely.
In other good news, the flooding that Ukraine unleashed on the Dniester River has hit Tiraspol. I was at the river myself today with my dogs and saw just how high the water is, but I didn’t take any photos, so the one you see at the top of this post is from the local news.
Luckily, it’s not quite at disaster levels, and so everyone in Moldova and PMR who lives along the banks of the Dniester River is breathing much easier today.
My review of Moldovan media showed that absolutely nobody is talking about the rising levels in the river being Ukraine’s fault, and most folks probably think it’s due to the rain we’ve had over the past two weeks, so it looks like this story is dead and forgotten.
Either way, we survived another week!
Unfortunately, it remains to be seen whether Moldova is going to keep stealing PMR’s portion of the natural gas supply next month. So fingers crossed that it’ll be okay.