Romania will produce enough natural gas by 2018, to meet its domestic consumption and that of the Republic of Moldova, visiting Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said Tuesday on opening the construction works on the gas pipeline linking the two countries. According to news reaching here from Chisinau, Ponta kicked off the construction of the Iasi (Romania)-Ungheni (Moldova) gas pipeline at Zagarancea rural town of Ungheni District, the Moldovan end of the pipeline, together with his Moldovan counterpart Iurie Leanca and the European Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger. \"I am very glad that after many nice words which Bucharest and Brussels told the Republic of Moldova, deeds happen at last,\" said Ponta. In his address, Iurie Leanca said that this project will enable Moldova to diversify its gas sources. The EU Commissioner stressed, in turn, that this gas pipe has a strategic importance for Moldova and Romania alike. The official assured that Brussels will continue supporting the energy projects implemented jointly by these two countries, such as the interconnection of the electricity networks. The pipeline will be 43.2 kilometers long, with 32 km of it being in the Romanian territory, it will be able to carry a maximum 1.5 billion cubic meters a year, which is more than Moldova\'s annual gas consumption. The new pipeline is important for Moldova given that it will help diversify the country\'s energy sources and not rely anymore only on Russian natural gas. Former Moldovan Premier Vlad Filat and Romanian counterpart Victor Ponta signed a joint declaration on July 17, 2012 on the bilateral cooperation on energy security, including the achievement of the Iasi-Ungheni pipeline and the high-voltage electric lines linking the two countries.