Image Source: Reuters
Russia has cut off gas deliveries to Finland, the latest escalation in a dispute with the West over energy payments.
At 04:00 GMT on Saturday, Russia’s gas behemoth Gazprom reported that exports to Finland had been entirely halted.
Finland stated that all deliveries had been halted, but that clients would be unaffected.
Helsinki has refused to accept roubles as payment for its supplies. However, the deadline comes after Finland announced its intention to join NATO.
Despite its February 24 invasion of Ukraine, Russia continues to supply gas to a number of European countries.
Following the imposition of sanctions by Western nations over the war, Russia said that “unfriendly” countries would have to pay for gas in Russian currency, which the EU regards as extortion.
The cost-of-living dilemma that many consumers are experiencing is due to their reliance on Russian energy.
The majority of Finland’s gas is imported from Russia, yet gas accounts for less than a tenth of the country’s energy use.
Gas deliveries through the Imatra entry point were suspended on May 21, according to Gasgrid Finland, a state-owned firm in Finland.
“According to market parties’ nominations, the amount of gas required by the Finnish gas market is imported into the Finnish gas system through the Balticconnector entry point. Gasgrid Finland has diverted gas imports through the Balticconnector, bringing the gas system back into balance “it stated.
The Russian decision was previously regarded as “very unfortunate” by Gasum, a Finnish state-owned energy company.
“However, we have been meticulously planning for this circumstance, and we will be able to supply all of our customers with gas in the next months,” Gasum CEO Mika Wiljanen said in a statement.
“It is evident that nobody will deliver anything for free,” a Kremlin spokeswoman stated when asked about the situation.
Russia also stopped supplying electricity to Finland on Sunday. Should Finland apply to join Nato, it had vowed reprisal.
Separately, Russia’s state-owned oil company Rosneft announced on Friday that former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder had notified them that he would no longer serve on their board of directors.
Public indignation over Mr Schröder’s lucrative role has grown. He has declined to criticize Putin, whom he regards as a personal friend, for his decision to attack Ukraine.
Opinions expressed by California Gazette contributors are their own.