Russia suspends power supply to Finland after applying for NATO membership

Finland’s announcement that it wants to join the North Atlantic Alliance “without delay” provoked a strong reaction from Russian officials. Since Saturday, Russia has cut off its electricity supply to the Finns.

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LSupplier RAO Nordic Oy, 100% owned by Russian company InterRAO, announced on Friday that Russia would suspend its supply of electricity to Finland from Saturday “due to unpaid charges”.

The announcement comes amid rising tensions between Moscow and Helsinki, which have expressed interest in joining NATO “without delay” under the influence of the Russian offensive in Ukraine. An idea seen by Moscow with a very bad outlook has already threatened the “military-technical” response.

Helsinki-based RAO Nordic Oy has not received tariffs on electricity supplied to Finland since May 6, citing a shortfall in payments for electricity imported from Russia, the group said in a statement.

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

“So we are obliged to suspend electricity imports from May 14th,” the supplier explains.

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

The Finnish operator responded

The Finnish electricity network operator has promised that it can do so without importing electricity from Russia, as Finland prepares to announce its candidacy for NATO from Saturday, due to unpaid charges.

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“We were prepared for this and it will not be difficult. We will be able to manage a little more imports from Sweden and Norway,” Timo Goukonen, operations manager for operator Fingrit, told AFP on Friday.

NATO member

The Finnish president and prime minister on Thursday expressed support for joining NATO “without delay”, noting that the Nordic country’s decision would be announced to the organization on Sunday.

The Kremlin responded that Finland’s entry into NATO would “certainly” pose a threat to Russia. Russian diplomacy, for its part, reaffirmed during the Finnish entry event that “Russia is committed to taking military-technical and otherwise mutual measures to put an end to threats to its national security.”

RAO Nordic, a leading importer of electricity from Russia to the Nordic markets, has been operating in the EU since 2002.

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