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Romania Starts Shipping Gas To Moldova

Romania has started shipping natural gas to Moldova, as Chisinau seeks to reduce energy dependence on Russia.

Moldova Foreign Minister Natalia Gherman, speaking during a visit to Bucharest, said, "It is the first time that gas goes from West to East."

Moldova gets most of its gas from Russia but wants to import more from Romania. The joint pipeline began pumping a small amount of Romanian gas on March 4.

The 43-kilometer-long pipeline between the Romanian city of Iasi and Ungheni in Moldova took one year to build and was funded almost entirely by Bucharest.

Romanian officials say Bucharest will ship 16 million cubic meters of gas this year, which would cover some 1.6 percent of Moldova's gas consumption.

Unlike other countries in the region, EU member Romania is able to meet 85 percent of its gas needs from domestic production.

Based on reporting by AP and