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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.”
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Finland, which has traditionally remained neutral, has sought to join NATO, further heightening tensions with Russia.
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.
Caitlin McFall of Fox Business contributed to this report.