Russia cuts electricity to Finland amid mounting international tensions

Russia said it would cut electricity to Finland from Saturday because it claims the country has not paid, a state-owned company said.

RAO Nordic, a subsidiary of Inter ROA, said it will stop exporting electricity to Finland without providing details amid heightened tensions in Europe ravaged by the war between Russia and Ukraine, Reuters reported.

“This situation is exceptional and happened for the first time in more than twenty years of our trading history,” RAO Nordic said in a statement, according to the report.

RUSSIA SEEKS TO CLOSURE GAS SUPPLY TO FINLAND DURING NATO BID

Electricity services, which account for 10% of the country’s total consumption, were “temporarily” shut down at 1 a.m. local time, Finnish grid operator Fingrid said, according to the report.

“Missing imports can be replaced in the electricity market by importing more electricity from Sweden and also by domestic production,” the company added, Reuters reported.

HELSINKI, FINLAND – APRIL 18: Several thousand people gather in the central Senateintori square to show support for Ukraine and to demonstrate against Russia, on April 18, 2022 in Helsinki, Finland. (Photo by Alessandro Rampazzo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Ima (Getty images)

According to the report, Fingrid is not involved in the dispute.

“Nord Pool is the one paying for them. Fingrid is not a party to this electricity trade. We provide the transfer link from Russia to Finland,” Reima Paivinen, Fingrid’s senior vice president for operations, told the outlet.

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The discrepancy in the paused payments may be related to previous demands from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has required countries to pay gas tariffs in rubles, Russia’s national currency.

The question came when Russia is facing tightening of international economic sanctions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (AP/AP Newsroom)

The Finnish government said last month that it would not pay for Russian gas deliveries in rubles.

Nord Pool did not confirm the ruble requirement, saying: “We have never had any settlements in rubles, only in euros, Norwegian kroner, Swedish kronor and Danish kroner, in accordance with our standard procedures.”

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Finland, which has traditionally remained neutral, has attempted to join NATO, further escalating tensions with Russia.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin gives a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, on April 13, 2022. (Photo by Paul WENNERHOLM / TT News Agency / AFP) / Sweden OUT (Photo by PAUL WENNERHOLM/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images) (Photo by PAUL WENNERHOLM/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images/Getty Images)

On Thursday, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said their country wanted to join NATO “without delay”.

“NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defense alliance,” the leaders said.

Caitlin McFall of Fox Business contributed to this report.

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