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Romanian Transgaz submits bid to buy Moldovan operator of future Iași-Ungheni-Chișinău gas pipeline



Romania’s gas transport company, Transgaz, reportedly submitted a bid for the purchase of the Moldovan Vestmoldtransgaz, reports AGERPRES citing its sources.

The initial price for Vestmoldtransgaz was 180 million lei (approx. 10,5 million USD) and implied an initial investment of 93 million euros during the first two years after purchase. The Romanian Transgaz will operate in Moldova through its recently founded local branch, EuroTransgaz. Thus, Transgaz would be able to participate in the gas interconnection of Moldova and Romania, including via the future extension of the Iași-Ungheni pipeline until Chișinău. The respective segment is supposed to be finished until the end of 2018.

Transgaz had a net profit of 433,5 million Romanian lei in the first nine months of 2017, 21% more than in the same period of 2016.

The approximate calculations estimate that the total cost of building the Ungheni-Chișinău gas pipeline would be 113 million euros. The European Union would contribute to the project with a grant of 40 million euros for the two phases of the project, while the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will offer a 41 million euros loan. European Investment Bank would give a loan of 41 million euros.
Romania offered 550 thousand euros as a grant for the construction of the pipeline and other 350 thousand euros for the building of gas distribution center in Ungheni.

The previously built pipeline of 43 km from the Romanian city of Iași to the Moldovan city of Ungheni was able to transport up to 1,5 billion cubic meters of natural gas but it was finally agreed to deliver only 50 million cubic meters per year, due to the low price of the Russian gas provided by Gazprom. The 120 kilometers long and 600 millimeters wide pipeline would allow Moldova to import more natural gas from Romania, thus enhancing the security of energy supply.

Currently studying International Relations at the University of Pécs, Hungary. Study focus: Transnistrian conflict settlement, Moldovan statehood, Moldovan democracy.

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The economy of the Republic of Moldova increased by 4.5% in 2017



The economy of Moldova registered an increase of 4.5% in 2017 compared to 2016, the GDP exceeding 150 billion lei, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The growth of GDP contributed to various economic activities, with the largest share being recorded by wholesale and retail trade, maintenance and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, transport and storage, accommodation and catering – with a contribution of 1.3 points percentage of GDP growth.

For the years 2018-2020, the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure forecasts an increase in the economy by 3-4%.

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Over 20 million US dollars from Moldova’s electricity bills ended up in offshore firms’ accounts// RISE

Over 20 million dollars from electricity invoices paid by Moldovan consumers have reached the accounts of offshore companies. The money was removed from the Victoriabank accounts of a company in Tiraspol that has been interfering with the supply of energy for several years in Moldova.



RISE outlined the scheme by which the buffer company in the separatist region became the main electricity supplier overnight, earned millions of profits and hid them in tax havens.

Only around 20% of the country’s total electricity demand is produced on the territory of the Republic of Moldova on the right bank of the River Nistru. In recent years, the battle for Moldova’s electricity supply contract has usually been made between two regional players: a representative of the Ukrainian group DTEK, which is part of the business empire of Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, and the Cuciurgan plant, which is owned by the giant Inter RAO UES, controlled by the Russian state.

Source: MediaCenter (The Cuciurgan plant)

How EnergoKapital appeared in the scheme:

After the spring of 2014, when the Ministry of Economy announced that between April 1, 2014, and April 1, 2015, the Republic of Moldova bought electricity from DTEK Vostokenergo and from the Cuciurgan plant, due to the crisis in the Eastern Ukraine that degraded into an armed conflict, in autumn of 2014, DTEK has completely ceased delivery of energy to the Republic of Moldova. Consequently, DTEK’s contractual obligations were taken over by the Cuciurgan Power Plant.

At this point in the scheme, an intermediary appeared – the company EnergoKapital in Tiraspol, which was founded in October 2014, a few weeks before the DTEK ceased its deliveries. Founders of the company that emerged overnight were Bas-Market SA in Tiraspol, with offshore shareholders, and Ornamental Art Limited in Hong Kong.

In the following years, the EnergoKapital’s license was prolonged four times, with the left bank becoming the main electricity supplier in the Republic of Moldova. Thus, from the end of 2014 until the end of March 2017, EnergoKapital delivered energy worth about 400 million dollars to the consumers on the right bank of Nistru.

The offshore compromise

Victor Parlicov, the former director of the National Energy Reglementation Agency, claims that such schemes have happened in the past, but the emergence of EnergoKapital as an intermediary is also due to some misunderstandings between business partners in Chisinau, Tiraspol, and Moscow.

Former director of EnergoKapital in 2014-2016, Mihail Dobrov, now head of Dnestrenergo, an enterprise that manages Transnistrian energy transport networks, refused to speak on this subject.

Criminal law in Chișinău

The criminal scheme by which Moldova was supplied with electricity also came into view of the law enforcement bodies, the General Prosecutor’s Office, stating beforehand that the EnergoKapital intermediary figured in a criminal case. Vladimir Mosneaga, prosecutor at the Office for Combating Organized Crime and Special Causes, refused to rule on the file, suggesting that RISE should wait for the official response.

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2017: EU almost equals CIS at individual money transfers to Moldova



Structure of net transfers of funds from abroad to individuals by geographic areas, 2017 %, Source:

The National Bank of Moldova (NBM) published the report on the individual money transfers from abroad to Moldova in 2017. NBM reports that around 1199 million USD were sent to individuals in Moldova.

Some 85,2% of the money was transferred via money remittance systems (USD, EUR or RUB). The currency structure of money transfers (recalculated in USD) was as follows: USD – 570,54 million, EUR – 522,37 million, RUB – 94,40 million and other currencies – 12,66 million.

The National Bank noticed a continuation of the downward trend of transfers from the CIS countries, while the EU transfers increased by 20,3% compared to 2016.

Dynamics of transfers from CIS and EU in to of individuals (2012 – 2017 annual dynamics; 2017 monthly dynamics), %

Money transfers from other states (except for the CIS and the EU) totaled 30,7 percent in 2017:

Structure of net transfers of funds from abroad to individuals by geographic areas, 2017 %,

96,2% of the CIS transfers originated in Russia.

Within the money transfers from the EU countries, Italy accounts for the largest share of 34,9 percent, being followed by the United Kingdom (14,0 percent), Germany (13,9 percent), France (8,1 percent), Spain (3,3 percent), Ireland (3,0 percent), Poland (2,8 percent), Czech Republic (2,6 percent), Portugal (2,5 percent), Romania (2,4 percent), Belgium (2,1 percent), Cyprus (1,8 percent) and Greece (1,3 percent).

Moldovan remittances still heavily rely on the Russian market: 402,63 million USD (or 33,6% of money transfers) originated in Russia. Other leading remittance sources are: Israel – 17,1 percent (205,02 million), Italy – 12,0 percent (143,83 million), the USA – 7,9 percent  (95,13 million), United Kingdom – 4,8 percent (57,88 million), Germany – 4,8 percent (57,56 million), France – 2,8 percent (33,60 million), Turkey – 1,3 percent (15,30 million) , Spain – 1,1 percent (13,74 million), Ireland – 1,0 percent (12,31 million).

Dynamics of money transfers (top three states) to individuals (2012 – 2017 annual; 2017 monthly), %, Source:

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