CHISINAU (Reuters) -Russia's Gazprom has rejected Moldova's request to reschedule its January gas payment, forcing the country to introduce a state of emergency in its energy sector, the government said on Wednesday. Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu said the country was able to pay $38 million out of a total bill of $63 million. The government said it would ask parliament on Thursday to introduce a state of emergency, giving it broad powers to manage the energy sector, such as switching gas supplies from industry to households and using budget funds to pay for the fuel.
Russia on Monday urged Germany and the European Union not to drag its feet over certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which has become a focal point in political disputes between Moscow and the West. The pipeline to Germany would double Russian gas export capability under the Baltic Sea to 110 billion cubic metres per year, circumventing Ukraine. The project, lead by Russia's Gazprom, has been a geopolitical irritant to the United States and countries including Ukraine and Poland since before contruction was completed in September, with regulatory clearance expected no earlier than the end of the first half of this year.
The Yamal-Europe pipeline, which usually sends Russian gas west into Europe, flowed east from Germany to Poland for a 26th successive day on Saturday, data from German network operator Gascade showed. Since Dec. 21, the link between Poland and Germany had been operating in reverse mode, putting upward pressure on European gas prices. The pipeline usually accounts for about one-sixth of Russia's annual gas exports to Europe and Turkey.