- BBC News World
Russian power provider RAO Nordic announced on Friday that it will suspend electricity supplies to Finland from Saturday, citing payment problems.
According to the company, she has not been paid for previous deliveries.
Finnish grid operator Fingrid said Russia supplies only a small percentage of the electricity consumed in the country and could be replaced by other sources.
Thursday Russia threatened Finland with retaliation over moves to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
According to a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry, the movement of the Scandinavian country would seriously damage its bilateral relations, as well as the security and stability of northern Europe.
Finland shares a 1,300-kilometre border with Russia and has remained outside NATO so as not to antagonize its eastern neighbor.
However, since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, public support in the Nordic country for joining NATO has increased.
And Finland is expected to formally announce its plan to join the military alliance on Sunday..
But RAO Nordic’s decision to cut off electricity delivery has not been explicitly linked to this.
“This is an exceptional situation and it is happening for the first time in 20 years of commercial history,” the Russian state-owned company said.
Neither RAO Nordic nor Fingrid explained what was behind the payment problems.
Last month Russia cut off gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland after they refused to comply with the demand to pay in rubles, something they said would contravene Western sanctions.
And this week Gazprom, the Russian state company, announced that it will stop supplying gas through the Polish part of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline.
Fingrid advanced this Friday that the decision of RAO Nordic is not expected to generate cuts in the country, since only 10% of Finland’s electricity comes from Russia.
“The lack of imported electricity from Russia will be made up for by importing more from Sweden and generating more in Finland,” explained Reima Päivinen, vice president of Fingrid’s power system operations.
On the other hand, with temperatures rising as spring progresses, the demand for electricity is decreasing. And more wind power is also expected to be generated.
The nuclear power plant, expected to open this summer, would more than make up for the loss of Russian supply, Fingrid added.
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