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Disinformation:

DISINFORMATION: Russia saved Moldova in the gas crisis, just like it did in the war in Transnistria

Disinformation

Russia saved the Republic of Moldova in the context of this country’s gas crisis, by offering it the best price on the market. Previously, Moscow saved Moldova from defeat in 1992, during the armed conflict in Transnistria. The fake narratives are promoted by a publication close to the separatist regimes in Eastern Ukraine, subordinated to the Kremlin. In fact, Chișinău was forced to sign a new, less favorable contract with Gazprom, while in 1992 Russia backed the separatists.

NEWS: “Why did Moldova have to look for other sources of natural gas, when it was clear from the start that a contract with Russia was only viable option? It’s simply impossible to find cheaper gas elsewhere, and neither its pro-European orientation or its affiliation to common civil values will help Moldova. Was it necessary for Moldova to go to all this trouble, whose consequences it needs to endure today? […]

The political problems Moldova blames on Russia are simply absurd and ungrounded. As regards Transnistria, the conflict started during the Soviet period, when the USSR administration, and the Russian regime in particular, were experiencing great difficulties. Moldovans made Transnistria a problem by itself, trying to control a Russian-speaking region altogether and impose a language, not Moldovan, but the Romanian language and identity.

Accordingly, the conflict escalated into a fully-fledged war, which the Republic of Moldova would have most likely lost had Russia not intervened. Russia guarantees the conflict will not re-escalate”.

Reality

NARRATIVES: 1. Russia saved Moldova by offering the best price for gas. 2. The conflict in Transnistria was triggered by Chișinău in an attempt to Romanianize the population east of the Dniester. 3. Russia’s redeeming intervention stopped the war in Transnistria and saved Moldova from defeat.

BACKGROUND: The Republic of Moldova signed a new contract on the delivery of natural gas with Gazprom on October 29, after a month of negotiations, during which time it imported gas at a record-high price of 800 USD per thousand cubic meters. Additionally, the quantity of gas delivered by Gazprom turned out to be insufficient, which meant Chișinău had to purchase lower quantities of gas on the market.

The terms of the new contract have not yet been made public. According to Chișinău authorities, Moldova will pay 450 USD for its October imports, after which point the price is expected to go down. According to Moscow sources, the price will be 500-600 USD per thousand cubic meters. The results of the negotiations are presented in different keys, both in Chișinău and in Moscow. What we do know for a fact is that the price will be a few times higher compared to early 2021, and the costs for end users are also expected to go up.

Transnistria is the stumbling block of relations between Chișinău and Moscow. The conflict has also been invoked during the negotiations over gas deliveries. In this context, the issue was more about Transnistria’s outstanding gas-related debt, which is closing in on 8 billion USD, considering this country has not paid its gas bills for nearly two decades. Moscow is now holding Chișinău accountable.

The political resolution of the Transnistrian conflict is another subject of heated debates, given that negotiations often break down when it comes to free travel and certain economic aspects. A political resolution is also prevented by the Russian military presence in the region, although Moscow pledged to withdraw its troops and military equipment from Transnistria ever since the OSCE summit held in Istanbul in 1999.

PURPOSE: To portray Russia as a state that saved Moldova in the context of the gas crisis of October, also recalling the Russian Federation’s key role in “stopping the war in Transnistria”. To describe the pro-European administration in Chișinău as ungrateful and to indirectly show that the Government’s pro-European policies, embraced by the majority of the population, are detrimental to the Republic of Moldova.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: Russia is often portrayed in Kremlin-linked media as the savior of the Republic of Moldova, a country that played a key role in putting an end to the armed conflict in Transnistria and preventing any further bloodshed. It resembles another episode from Soviet historiography, which claims Russia/USSR liberated the territory of the Republic of Moldova in 1812 and 1940.

During the October gas crisis, the Republic of Moldova had to purchase gas from alternative sources, more expensive than Russian gas imports, because Gazprom failed to deliver the necessary amount of gas required to cover domestic consumption.

Even though the Republic of Moldova will purchase gas below market level, the calculation method is unfavorable compared to previous contracts, experts say.

The so-called “forced Romanianization” promoted by Chișinău was merely a pretext for the breakaway movement of 1990, which eventually led to Transnistria proclaiming its independence and the perpetuation of a 30-year conflict. In the Republic of Moldova, the Russian language continues to have a privileged status, in particular in regions inhabited by national minorities, such as Gagauzia or the Taraclia district, which have predominantly Bulgarian and Gagauz populations, but also in northern Moldova, home to a strong Ukrainian minority.

In 1992, according to eye-witness accounts, Russian troops intervened in the Transnistrian conflict when right-wing forces launched a successful offensive against Bender, the second-largest city controlled by the separatists. Following the intervention of the Russian 14th Army, the city remained under separatist control, although situated right of the Dniester.

GRAIN OF TRUTH: The Republic of Moldova signed a new contract with Russia on the delivery of natural gas, in the absence of other options. 

  • Publication / Media:
    news-front.info
  • Date of publication:
    04/11/2021
  • Language / Target audience:
    Eurosceptics, national minorities
  • Amplification:
    rusnod.ru
  • Political affiliation:
    The Kremlin
  • Key narrative:
    Russia saved Moldova, offering the best price for gas, just as it saved the country during the armed conflict in Transnistria in 1992.
Cornel Ciobanu

08 Nov 2021
Cornel Ciobanu

11 minutes read
  • Russia saved the Republic of Moldova in the context of this country’s gas crisis, by offering it the best price on the market. Previously, Moscow saved Moldova from defeat in 1992, during the armed conflict in Transnistria. The fake narratives are promoted by a publication close to the separatist regimes in Eastern Ukraine, subordinated to the Kremlin. In fact, Chișinău was forced to sign a new, less favorable contract with Gazprom, while in 1992 Russia backed the separatists.
  • NARRATIVES: 1. Russia saved Moldova by offering the best price for gas. 2. The conflict in Transnistria was triggered by Chișinău in an attempt to Romanianize the population east of the Dniester. 3. Russia’s redeeming intervention stopped the war in Transnistria and saved Moldova from defeat.
  • PURPOSE: To portray Russia as a state that saved Moldova in the context of the gas crisis of October, also recalling the Russian Federation’s key role in “stopping the war in Transnistria”. To describe the pro-European administration in Chișinău as ungrateful and to indirectly show that the Government’s pro-European policies, embraced by the majority of the population, are detrimental to the Republic of Moldova.
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