Russia is planning to suspend electricity supplies to Finland by this weekend, a supplier disclosed on Friday, as tensions increase over Helsinki’s NATO bid after the conflict in Ukraine.
“We are pushed to stop the electricity import starting from May 14,” as said by RAO Nordic, a subsidiary of Russian state energy holding Inter RAO that sells its electricity on the Nordic market.
It has alleged that the suspension on not having received payment for electricity sold in May and said, as a consequence, it was no longer able to pay for more electricity from Russia.
“This situation is unusual and took place for the first time in over 20 years of our trading history,” RAO Nordic stated, hoping the situation would “soon” improve and the trade could resume.
The Finland’s electricity network operator said it would be able to make do without Russian electricity.
Meanwhile, Fingrid’s manager for operational planning, Timo Kaukonen said, “We are prepared for this and it won’t be difficult. We can make do with a bit more imports from Sweden as well as Norway.”
He said a little less than 10% of electricity being consumed in Finland comes from Russia.
The announcement of the cut in electricity supplies came a day after Finland’s leaders announced their nation must apply to join NATO “without delay”- a seismic change in policy since Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24.
The Kremlin has warned Russia would “definitely” see Finnish membership as a threat, while the Russian foreign ministry said Moscow would be “forced to take reciprocal steps, military-technical and other, to address the resulting threats.”