Russian gas to Finland has been cut off

Finland’s natural gas supplies from Russia were cut on Saturday, Finland’s state-owned energy company Gasum said after the Nordic country refused to pay supplier Gazprom in rubles.

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“Natural gas supplies to Finland under the Gasum supply agreement have been interrupted,” the company said in a statement, adding that gas is now being supplied from other sources via the Balticconnector pipeline, which connects Finland with Estonia.

The Finnish group announced on Friday that it had been informed by the Russian giant Gazprom about the supply interruption on Saturday.

Gazprom in April demanded that all future payments for its gas export shipments be made in rubles instead of euros, but Gasum rejected the demand and the company announced on Tuesday that it would seek judicial arbitration.

While gas accounts for only 8% of the energy consumed in Finland, most of the energy consumed by the Nordic country comes from Russia.

However, Gasum assured that it could obtain gas from other suppliers and continue its activities “normally”.

Finland had already announced plans on Friday to phase out Russian gas next winter, notably announcing the ten-year lease of a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminal jointly with neighboring Estonia.

Gas has already been cut off from Gazprom to several countries that have refused to pay in rubles to avoid supporting the Russian economy during the war in Ukraine, such as Poland and Bulgaria.

The announcement comes days after Russia suspended electricity exports to Finland due to payment problems.

Finland and its neighbor Sweden decided to join NATO over Russia’s offensive against Ukraine, ruling that Moscow posed a threat despite decades of the two countries opting for nonalignment, particularly throughout the Cold War.

Finland in particular has a 1,300 km long border with Russia.

Moscow has already warned Helsinki that a formal candidacy for NATO membership would be “a grave mistake with far-reaching consequences”.

Russia had justified its attack in Ukraine in particular with the rapprochement of its western neighbor with NATO and saw it as an “existential” threat to its security.

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