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Russia makes good on its threat and cuts off gas to Finland for not paying in roubles

Just a week ago, the Russian energy company Inter RAO stopped supplying electricity to the Finnish market
AP/DMITRY LOVETSKY  -   Instalación rusa de gas

AP/DMITRY LOVETSKY  -   Finland is the third EU country, after Poland and Bulgaria, to stop receiving Russian gas.

Finnish energy company Gasum confirmed on Saturday that Russian gas giant Gazprom has cut off its gas supplies, as announced on Friday, for failing to meet the Russian state group's demand to pay in roubles.

With this decision, Finland loses its largest natural gas supplier, as Gazprom supplies around 92% of all gas consumed in the Nordic country, mainly in the forestry industry and chemical processing.

Finland imported around 2.2 billion cubic metres of natural gas in 2021, at a cost of €927.5 million, although this fuel accounts for just 5 % of all energy consumed in the Nordic country.

According to Gasum, the largest distributor of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Nordic countries, in the coming months it will supply its customers with natural gas from other suppliers through the Baltic Connector pipeline.

It also indicated that its network of gas filling stations will continue to operate normally.

AP/FRANCK ROBICHON - La primera ministra de Finlandia, Sanna Marin
AP/FRANCK ROBICHON - Finland's Prime Minister, Sanna Marin

In a bid to reduce dependence on Russian gas, Finland agreed with Estonia a month ago to jointly lease a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal this autumn, where gas brought in by ships from other gas-producing countries will be stored.

Finland is the third EU country, after Poland and Bulgaria, to stop receiving Russian gas because it does not want to bow to Moscow's demands that its customers pay in roubles to try to halt the collapse of its currency.

In the case of Finland, which formally applied for NATO membership on Wednesday, ignoring the Kremlin's threats, the cut-off of Russian gas supplies comes on top of the cut-off of electricity supplies.

Just a week ago, the Russian energy company Inter RAO stopped supplying electricity to the Finnish market, citing "problems in receiving payments" due to European sanctions, although several experts in the Nordic country put it down to political reasons.