Moldovan President Maia Sandu said she did not see any connection between receiving Russian gas and her country’s desire to join the European Union (EU).
She admitted that Russia could use the topic of gas to hinder Moldova’s European integration.
Sandu commented on the statement by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who accused Moldova of extorting gas. The president of the country disagreed with him, saying that she sees no connection between gas deliveries and plans to obtain the status of a candidate country for EU membership, kommersant.ru writes.
“These are separate things. We pay for gas consumption, we pay a lot... Moldova is an independent, sovereign country, its residents decide whether they want EU membership,” Maia Sandu said in an interview with TV8.
She did not rule out that the Russian authorities might try to put pressure on Moldova. “The Russian Federation can use gas or other instruments against us – for example, electricity where we are even more dependent because we have a theoretical possibility of buying gas from other sources,” Sandu said.
Moldova has not paid off its $709 million debt for Russian gas, but supplies still continue. In April, Maia Sandu said the country could not refuse gas from Russia because of a lack of alternatives. Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister of Infrastructure Andrei Spinu in May called to review the terms of the contract with Gazprom. Sergey Lavrov claims that the West is “clearly attempting to make Moldova a second Ukraine”.