Moldova & IMF IMF Activities Publications Press Releases


Chisinau, December 12 (INFOTAG). The International Monetary Fund has expressed concern
with some provisions in the gas supply agreement signed recently between Moldova and

In particular, in Article 12 the IMF experts perceived an indirect security to be
ensured by the Moldovan Parliament to payment commitments taken by MoldovaGas, a
Moldo-Russian joint enterprise. By this article, the government has undertaken to create
favorable conditions for MoldovaGas activity in order to prevent the enterprise from
liquidation, re-profiling, or reorganization during the document's 5-year validity

Minister of Energy Iacob Timciuc does not see any problem about that article, as "the
Cabinet is supposed to provide favorable business conditions for all economic operators.
Besides, the article in question stipulates that if reorganization or liquidation is
initiated by the Russian side, the Moldovan Government bears no responsibility for it",
he told INFOTAG.

On December 18, an IMF mission is expected to arrive in Chisinau that will include
advisor to the IMF European II Department and Fund's chief representative for Moldova
Mr. Richard Haas and an expert in payment balance problems Mr. Ron van Roden. Maybe by
that time the Government will manage to work out a less explosive formula for Article 12
and agree upon it with the Russian side.

Deputy Minister of Finance Mariana Durlesteanu told your correspondent that the $5
million, promised by the World Bank as an addition to SAC-II program, will come to the
ministry's account within 2-3 days. In her words, an agreement was signed on December 10
between the World Bank and the Government of the Netherlands on providing a $10 million
grant to Moldova - also as an addition to SAC-II.

"The grant is intended for supporting the country's payment balance, but it will be
available only after the World Bank concludes an appropriate agreement with the Moldovan
Government", Mrs. Durlesteanu said. She does not rule out that the agreement may be
signed already this week by World Bank Regional Director Mr. Roger Grawe and by Minister
of Finance Mihai Manoli. This money will permit to repay external dues without affecting
domestic expenditures, she presumes.

Before the New Year, Moldova is supposed to repay $4.7 million against the $45 million
credit furnished by the European Union, and $3.6 million against Eurobonds.

The Ministry of Finance regards as fairly problematic the receipt in 2001 of another
$12 million tranche from the IMF $142 million credit within program to combat poverty
and ensure economic growth. Most probably, the December 21 IMF Board session agenda does
not include an item concerning the approval of a supplement to the IMF Memorandum agreed
on with the Moldovan Government in July 2001.