EU launches first pipeline to Moldova
A pipeline connection between Moldova and the European Union has been established, as part of efforts by the EU to reduce European countries' energy dependence on Russia.
The pipeline was officially launched Aug. 27, which is also Moldova's Independence Day. Prior to the ceremony, EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger commented that the day was historic because it marked the first time that Moldova was not fully dependent on Russian natural gas and was taking the first step toward more diversified energy sourcing.
The maximum capacity of the pipeline is approximately one billion cubic meters per year and it is estimated that by the end of 2014 European gas companies will deliver up to one third of the country's gas supplies. Some EUR7 billion ($9.3 billion) of the total cost of EUR28 billion ($37.3 billion) has been provided by Brussels, Reuters reported.
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Although it is not a member of the European Union, Moldova has been a member of the European Energy Community since 2010. The Energy Community aims to extend the EU's energy market to eastern countries such as Albania and the states of the former Yugoslavia.
Countries from the former Soviet bloc have been the main victims of the battle for dominance between Russia and Europe, with some of them even having their energy supplies cut.