Russia cuts off electricity to Finland amid growing international tensions

Russia said it would cut off electricity to Finland starting Saturday as it claims the country has not paid, a state-owned power company said.

RAO Nordic, a subsidiary of Inter ROA, said it will stop exporting electricity to Finland without providing specifics amid larger tensions across Europe beset by the Russia-Ukraine War, Reuters reported.

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

RUSSIA LOOKS TO CUT GAS SUPPLIES TO FINLAND AMID NATO BID

Electrical services, which account for 10% of the country’s total consumption, were discontinued “for the time being” 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: A few thousand people gather in central Senaatintori square to show support to 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 in this electricity trade. We provide the transfer connection 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 could be connected to prior demands from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who demanded countries pay gas fees in rubles, Russia’s national currency.

The demand came as Russia faces tightening 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 it would not pay for Russian gas supplies in rubles.

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

KREMLIN CALLS FINLAND’S NATO MOVE A THREAT TO RUSSIA

Finland, who has traditionally remained neutral, has sought 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 was seeking 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.

Fox Business’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.

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