Russia halts gas supplies to Finland amid payments, NATO ranks – POLITICO

Russia’s Gazprom on Saturday shut down gas exports to Finland, marking an escalation in tensions between the two countries following Helsinki’s attempt to join the NATO defense alliance.

Nordic gas supplier Gasum confirmed that Russia had cut off supplies to neighboring Finland and that the company will “supply natural gas to its customers from other sources” in the coming months, including through the Balticconnector, a gas pipeline that runs between Finland and Estonian.

The decision to cut off Finland from Russia’s gas resources is also seen as a response to Helsinki’s refusal to pay for Russian gas in rubles, as the Kremlin had demanded.

Helsinki on Thursday drew the ire of the Russian government by requesting to join the NATO military alliance, with Russian President Vladimir Putin warning that the move would be a “mistake”.

Russia had already halted electricity deliveries to Finland last weekend, as relations between the two countries deteriorated amid indications from Finland that it would seek NATO membership in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. of Putin.

Finland’s power grid operator Fingrid said it will not be difficult to replace Russian power imports. “The lack of electricity import from Russia will be compensated by importing more electricity from Sweden and generating more electricity in Finland,” Fingrid said.

Finland has also been moving to end Russian coal and oil imports.

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