Russia cuts power to Finland amid rising international tensions

Russia has said it will cut power to Finland from Saturday because it claims the country has not paid, a state power company said.

RAO Nordic, a subsidiary of Inter ROA, said it would stop exporting electricity to Finland without providing details amid higher tensions across war-torn Russia-Ukraine. reported Reuters.

“This situation is exceptional and has occurred for the first time in more than twenty years of our business history,” RAO Nordic said in a statement, according to the report.

RUSSIA SEEKS TO CUT GAS SUPPLY TO FINLAND AS PART OF NATO BID

Electricity services, which account for 10% of the country’s total consumption, were interrupted “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 their support for Ukraine and demonstrate against Russia, on April 18, 2022 in Helsinki, Finland. (Photo by Alessandro Rampazzo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Ima (Getty Pictures)

According to the report, Fingrid is not involved in the dispute.

“Nord Pool is the one paying them. Fingrid is not a party to this power trade. We provide the transfer connection from Russia to Finland,” said Reima Paivinen, senior vice president of operations at Fingrid.

EU ACCUSES RUSSIA OF ‘BLACKING’ AFTER IT CUTS GAS TO POLAND AND BULGARIA

The discrepancy in suspended payments may be linked to earlier demands by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who demanded that countries pay gas charges in rubles, Russia’s national currency.

The request came as Russia faces tougher international economic sanctions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin during 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 that it would not pay for Russian gas supplies in roubles.

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

KREMLIN CALLS FINNISH NATO MOVE A THREAT TO RUSSIA

Finland, which has traditionally remained neutral, has sought to join NATO, further heightening 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 Pictures) (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 NATO member, Finland would strengthen the entire defense alliance,” the leaders said.

Fox Business’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.

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