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Seeking EU help for energy projects

Moldovan Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev and his Romanian counterpart Calin Popescu-Tariceanu sent a joint letter to European Commission President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso asking for financial assistance for joint energy projects. The two prime ministers are seeking funds to develop a new electric power grid and a gas pipeline. According to a Romanian government press release, the two prime ministers believe "the implementation of these projects will significantly increase the level of regional integration in the field of electric power" and increase Moldova's energy independence.

Romanian Economic Minister Codrut Ceres said on 15 November in Chisinau that Bucharest was looking into delivering electricity to Moldova to prevent a potential energy crisis there. Ceres's announcement came less than a week after the Cuciurgani power plant located in the breakaway Transdniester had cut off energy supplies to the rest of Moldova. Russia's electricity monopoly Unified Energy Systems (EES) which owns the power plant has been locked in a lengthy dispute with Moldova's monopoly electricity distributor, Spanish Union Fenosa. EES demanded a rate hike in March, citing increased production costs, but Union Fenosa said delivery prices were contractually fixed.