Russia Halts Gas Deliveries to Finland

Russia’s state run natural gas company Gazprom announced on Saturday that it stopped gas exports to Finland. The move came as Russia and the European nations have been in an energy payments dispute since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

After Putin’s orders in March, Gazprom Export has demanded that European countries pay for Russian gas in roubles because of sanctions imposed over the invasion of Ukraine. Finland has refused to pay in roubles.

In addition, Gazprom’s decision to cut supplies comes at a time when Finland applies to join the NATO, spurred by the Russian attack on Ukraine.

Finland’s gas system operator Gasgrid said on Saturday that the gas imports through Imatra entry point have been stopped.

Finnish state-owned gas wholesaler Gasum on Friday said Gazprom had warned that flows would be halted from 0400 GMT on Saturday morning.

Both Gasum and Gazprom confirmed on Saturday the flows had stopped.

Gasum said in a statement that natural gas supplies under its contract have been cut off. The company further stated that it would supply gas from other sources through the Balticconnector pipeline during the summer season.

Balticconnector links Finland to neighboring Estonia’s gas grid.

Gazprom Export announced on Friday that flows to Finland have been halted because Gasum did not comply with the new Russian rules requiring payments in roubles.

While the majority of Finland’s natural gas comes from Russia, the fossil fuel only accounts for 5% of its annual energy consumption.

Most European supply contracts are denominated in euros or dollars and Moscow already cut off gas to Bulgaria and Poland last month after they refused to comply with the new payment terms.

The Finnish Government, Gasum, and the individual gas consuming companies in the country have stated that they have been prepared for a shutdown of Russian gas and they would manage without it.

Finland said it had made a deal with the U.S. based Excelerate Energy  to charter a storage and regasification vessel to help replace Russian supplies, starting in the fourth quarter this year.

The vessel turns LNG, which arrives on ships, back into regular gas.

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