Russia Cuts Finland’s Electric Supply

Russia Cuts Finland’s Electric Supply
Finland's President Sauli Niinistö gives a press conference to announce that Finland will apply for NATO membership at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, on May 15, 2022. (Alessandro Rampazzo/AFP via Getty Images)
Naveen Athrappully

Russian energy supplier RAO Nordic Oy cut off electricity supply to Finland early Saturday, accusing the country of not making payments on past bills.

“We are forced to note that for the volumes which have been sold on Nord Pool exchange since the 6th of May funds have not yet been credited to our bank account. This situation is exceptional and happened for the first time in over twenty years of our trading history.

“Unfortunately, in the current situation of lack of cash income, RAO Nordic is not able to make payments for the imported electricity from Russia. Therefore we are forced to suspend the electricity import starting from 14th of May,” RAO Nordic said in a May 13 announcement.

According to Fingrid, the Finnish transmission system operator, the electricity supply situation in the country is not under threat. Russian electricity only makes up approximately 10 percent of Finland’s total consumption.

Finland’s self-sufficiency in electricity generation is improving, especially wind power generation, Fingrid claimed. This year the country is expected to bring an additional 2,000 megawatts of new wind power online. By 2023, Finland is expected to become self-sufficient in electricity.

“The lack of electricity import from Russia will be compensated by importing more electricity from Sweden and by generating more electricity in Finland,” Reima Paivinen, senior vice president of power system operations at Fingrid, said in a May 13 news release.
Last month, Russia cut gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria after the two nations refused to make payments in rubles. The blockage of electricity to Finland came just before the country’s President Sauli Niinisto officially announced that it would seek NATO membership.

Becoming a member of the military alliance will “maximize” Finland’s security, Niinisto said during a news conference on Sunday, adding that he had spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin about his country’s decision on Saturday.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin called the move to apply for NATO membership an “important decision” that is based on a “strong mandate.” A formal application for joining NATO is expected to be submitted soon.

Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, Finland has been actively reviewing the potential of becoming a NATO member.

Russia will take “retaliatory steps” against Finland should the country join NATO, Moscow’s foreign ministry said on May 12. By joining NATO, Finland will harm bilateral relations and disrupt security in the North European region, it said in a statement.

“Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps both of military-technical and of other nature in order to stop the threats to its national security that emerge as a result,” the ministry said.

Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.
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