Russia stops supplying electricity to Finland
Just a day after Finland announced its intention to join NATO, Russia stopped supplying electricity to the neighboring country. The official reason is payment difficulties.
DAccording to Finnish grid operator Fingrid, Russian utility Inter RAO will stop supplying electricity to Finland from 1 a.m. Saturday (local time) until further notice. The reason is that the Russian company has not received any payments through the Nord Pool energy exchange since May 6, Fingrid said, citing a statement from Inter RAO. Fingerrid is not responsible for payments. Nord Pool declined to comment.
“We no longer have the ability to pay for imported electricity and therefore have to stop importing electricity from Russia from May 14,” said a spokesperson for RAO Nordic, a contractor for the company. State-owned Russian company Inter RAO.
“This situation is extraordinary and has occurred for the first time in our more than twenty-year business history,” the company continued. She hopes that the situation will improve “soon” and that exchanges can resume.
A spokesman for another energy company, Finnish Energy, said there would be no power shortages in the country, although the supply freeze would lead to higher prices. Payment difficulties are officially cited as the reason. Around 10% of Finland’s energy consumption is covered by electricity imported from Russia. This should be replaced by electricity imports from Sweden.
One day after the decision for NATO
On Thursday, Russia described Finland’s planned NATO membership as a threat. Russia will analyze the consequences of Finland’s NATO membership with a view to its own security, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin had previously spoken out in favor of their country’s immediate membership of NATO. It is now expected that Finland will formally decide to apply for membership in the next few days.
The Russian Foreign Ministry described this as a sea change in the country’s foreign policy. “Russia will be compelled to take both military-technical and other countermeasures to stop growing threats to its national security,” he said.
However, if Finland and Sweden join NATO, Russia wants to make its reaction dependent on the alliance’s specific military infrastructure. According to the Interfax agency, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said it was still too early to talk about a possible stationing of nuclear weapons. The eventual admission of the two states to NATO means “strategic changes” in the region. But Russia will not react emotionally, but according to “an in-depth analysis” of the new balance of power.