Russia interrupts Finland amid rising international tensions

Russia interrupts Finland amid rising international tensions

Russia said it will cut power to Finland from Saturday as it claims the country failed to pay, a state-owned energy company said.

RAO Nordic, a subsidiary of Inter ROA, said it would halt exports of electricity to Finland, without giving details, amid heightened tensions across Europe ravaged by the Russia-Ukraine war, Reuters reported.

“This situation is extraordinary and happening for the first time in over twenty years of our trading history,” RAO Nordic said in a statement, according to the report.

RUSSIA WANT TO CUT GAS SUPPLIES TO FINLAND AT NATO’S REQUEST

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

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

HELSINKI, FINLAND – APRIL 18: A few thousand people gather at central Senaatintori Square to show their support for Ukraine and 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 who pays for them. Fingerrid is not involved in this electricity trade. We provide the transmission link from Russia to Finland,” Reima Paivinen, senior vice president of operations at Fingrid, told the outlet.

The EU accuses Russia of ‘blackmail’ after cutting off gas to Poland and Bulgaria

The discrepancy in suspended payments could be linked to earlier calls by Russian President Vladimir Putin for countries to pay gas fees in rubles, Russia’s national currency.

The demand came as Russia faces tightened international economic sanctions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin during 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 it would not pay for Russian gas supplies in rubles.

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

The Kremlin calls Finland’s NATO movement a threat to Russia

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, 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 is aiming to join NATO “immediately”.

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

Fox Business’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.

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