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Moldova Inaugurates Gas Pipeline From Romania

Moldova is celebrating the completion of a natural-gas pipeline from Romania that will reduce its reliance on Russia for energy supplies.

The Iasi-Ungheni pipeline will link the small former Soviet republic's gas transport system with that of EU-member Romania.

The Romanian and Moldovan prime ministers along with EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger are near border town of Ungheni for a ceremony inaugurating the pipeline.

Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca said Bucharest and Chisinau still must negotiate a price for natural gas, which he said he hoped "will be lower than Russian Gazprom's price."

Moldova depends on Russia for almost all its energy needs.

The pipeline cost some 26 million euros ($35 million) and took one year to construct. The EU paid 7 million euros of the cost.

Officials said a pipeline from Ungheni to Chisinau is also planned.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Mediafax