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Moldova may sue Gazprom over supply shortfall, official says

Illustration shows natural gas pipeline and Gazprom logo

CHISINAU (Reuters) - The Moldovan government could sue Russian state energy company Gazprom over a sharp cut in natural gas supply and is studying its options, a senior official said.

The small ex-Soviet state is reliant on Russian natural gas supplied by Gazprom and is grappling with a 40% cut in deliveries that has hurt its ability to supply enough electricity to its 2.5 million population.

"The lawyers are analysing the possibility of applying sanctions for non-compliance with the contract on the issue of supplying the entire volume of gas," Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu told the PRO-TV television channel late on Monday.

"When it becomes clear, we will decide what actions to take and in what direction to act."

Moldova, which has denounced the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine, has a contract with Gazprom that fluctuates from month to month based on the spot market price of gas and oil.

(Reporting by Alexander Tanas, Writing by Dan Peleschuk, Editing by Tom Balmforth and Timothy Heritage)