The deal, which Moldovan prime minister Vasile Tarlev told reporters was signed in late December, establishes an accord for a system that will determine the price to be paid in each year of the contract.

The long-term deal follows on from the previously inked arrangement for Moldova to pay $170 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas in 2007. Following this, the price will rise each year to eventually synchronize with those paid by Gazprom’s western European customers in 2011.

The signing of the long-term contract on gas supplies can be considered as a success. This document ensures stability in the provision of the country with energy resources, Itar-Tass reported Mr Tarlev as saying.