EU’s Urgent Energy Interconnection Decision Saved Moldova During Last Winter, Says Energy Minister

Moldova’s Energy Minister, Victor Parlicov, highlighted the crucial role played by the European Union’s decision to urgently interconnect Moldova’s and Ukraine’s energy systems to the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) in March of the previous year. This decision is credited with saving Moldova during the unprecedented energy crisis caused by Russia’s aggression and attacks on critical infrastructure in Ukraine.

Speaking at the international conference “Combating Energy Poverty in Europe: Challenges, Lessons Learned, and the Path Forward. Moldova’s Example,” taking place today and tomorrow in Chișinău, Minister Parlicov expressed his gratitude for the support provided by Moldova’s European partners, the United States, and Romania. Their assistance was essential in successfully overcoming the energy crisis that struck the country.

Minister Parlicov praised the significant progress achieved by Moldova in the past year and a half towards energy independence from Russia. He highlighted the transformation from complete dependence on a single gas supplier, Gazprom, with no experience or capacity to work with other providers, to becoming a country capable of importing electricity and natural gas from various directions.

“For the first time in history, we went through a winter without consuming gas from Gazprom, except for the Transnistrian region,” said Minister Parlicov. He pointed out that Moldova’s energy company, Energocom, was the first to use the Iași-Ungheni interconnector with Romania and the Trans-Balkan Gas Pipeline, including the interconnector between Greece and Bulgaria, in commercial operation.

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The most significant achievement, according to Minister Parlicov, was Moldova’s synchronization with the European energy grid on March 16, 2022. This synchronization marked a substantial leap forward in terms of energy security for both Moldova and Ukraine. This synchronization significantly contributed to Moldova’s ability to resist and withstand the challenges during Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in November 2022.

“Without the political decision from Brussels, Washington, and Bucharest, we wouldn’t have been able to overcome that period,” stated Minister Parlicov. He emphasized that the political support, which translated into financial assistance, was critical for establishing the Energy Vulnerability Fund, ensuring gas storage capabilities, and diversifying energy suppliers.

The decision to allow Moldova and Ukraine to synchronize with ENTSO-E took only three weeks, while it took Turkey 20 years and Romania 15 years to achieve the same milestone. The timely and decisive political support from European and international partners proved vital in Moldova’s energy resilience during challenging times.

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