Russia to suspend electricity supplies to Finland after applying for NATO membership

Finland’s announcement that it wanted to join the North Atlantic Alliance “without delay” provoked a strong reaction from the Russian authorities. From Saturday, Russia will suspend its electricity deliveries to the Finns.

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LRUSSIA will suspend its electricity deliveries to Finland from Saturday, “due to unpaid bills”, the supplier RAO Nordic Oy, 100% owned by the Russian company InterRAO, announced on Friday.

This announcement comes against a backdrop of rising tensions between Moscow and Helsinki, which has announced its desire to join NATO “without delay” under the influence of the Russian offensive in Ukraine. An intention seen with a very bad eye by Moscow which has already threatened a “military-technical” response.

Helsinki-based RAO Nordic Oy has not received payment for electricity supplied to Finland since May 6, the group said in a statement, citing a lack of means to pay for electricity imported from Russia.

“This situation is exceptional and takes place for the first time in more than 20 years,” the statement said.

“We are therefore obliged to suspend the import of electricity from May 14,” explains the supplier.

“We hope that the situation will soon improve” and deliveries from Russia will resume, adds the group.

The Finnish operator reacted

The Finnish electricity network operator has assured that it can do without power imports from Russia, suspended from Saturday because of unpaid bills, when Finland is preparing to announce its candidacy for NATO.

“We were prepared for this and it won’t be difficult. We can manage with a little more imports from Sweden and Norway,” Timo Kaukonen, an operations manager for operator Fingrid, told AFP on Friday.

NATO membership

The President and Prime Minister of Finland said they were in favor of joining NATO “without delay” on Thursday, specifying that the decision of the Nordic country would be announced to the organization on Sunday.

Finland’s entry into NATO would “definitely” be a threat to Russia, the Kremlin reacted. Russian diplomacy affirmed for its part that Russia will be “obligated to take reciprocal measures, military-technical and otherwise, in order to put an end to the threats to its national security”, in the event of Finland’s accession.

The main importer of electricity from Russia to the Nordic markets, RAO Nordic has been operating in the European Union since 2002.

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