Russia to cut gas supplies to Finland on Saturday

Russia’s Gazprom has notified Finland that gas supplies will be cut off on Saturday morning (tomorrow), Finnish state company Gasum said today.

Gasum refused to pay Gazprom Export in rubles, as Russia demanded from European countries. “It is very sad that gas supplies under our supply contract are now being terminated,” Gasum CEO Mika Vilgianen said. “However, we carefully prepared for this situation and made sure that, in order to avoid interruptions in the operation of the gas transmission network, we could provide all our consumers with gas in the coming months,” he said.

The outage is scheduled for 04:00 (GMT, 07:00 Greek time) on May 21st. Gasum said it will continue to supply gas to Finnish consumers from other sources via the Balticconnector pipeline linking Finland with Estonia.

The day before yesterday, on Wednesday, Gasum warned that Russia could cut off gas supplies due to a dispute over payment in rubles. Previously, Gasum did not accept the Russian demand to switch to a new gas payment system and announced its intention to file a lawsuit in arbitration. The decision to refuse to switch to payment in rubles was made by the government of the country in early April. According to the Minister for Affairs EU Titti Tuppurainen, a new settlement system would be a violation of the sanctions. “We do not agree with payment in rubles, this can be seen as blackmailing Russia and as part of Russia’s geopolitical efforts,” she said.

Finland became the third EU country, after Poland and Bulgaria, to refuse to pay for Russian gas in rubles. The Italian edition of Iltalehti notes that such a decision by the Russian Federation can be taken as “retaliation” for Finland’s decision to join NATO.

As we reported earlier, the intention join the military-political bloc President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin reported on 12 May.



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