Finnish company Gasum confirmed on Saturday that Russian gas giant Gazprom had cut off gas supplies, as announced on Friday, for failing to meet the requirement to pay in rubles.
The Russian company Gazprom announced the suspension of gas supplies to Finland, justifying it with Helsinki’s refusal to pay in rubles.
Gazprom has not received ruble payments from Finnish public energy company Gasum by the May 20 deadline and has “completely stopped its gas supplies”, the Russian gas giant said in a statement.
With this decision, Finland loses its biggest supplier of natural gas, given that Gazprom supplied around 92% of all gas consumed in the Nordic country, mainly in the forestry industry and chemical processing.
Finland imported around 2.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2021, at a cost of €927.5 million, although this fuel represents only 5% of all energy consumed in the Nordic country.
According to Gasum, the largest distributor of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Nordic countries, in the coming months it will supply its customers with natural gas from other suppliers through the Baltic Connector pipeline.
It also indicated that its network of gas supply stations will continue to operate normally.
In an attempt to reduce dependence on Russian gas, Finland agreed a month ago with Estonia to jointly use a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal this autumn, where gas brought in by ships from other gas-producing countries will be stored. .
Finland is the third EU country, after Poland and Bulgaria, to stop receiving Russian gas because it does not want to give in to Moscow’s demands that payment be made in rubles to try to stop the collapse of its currency.
In the case of Finland, which formally applied to join NATO on Wednesday, ignoring threats from the Kremlin, cutting off Russian gas supplies comes on top of cutting electricity supplies.
Just a week ago, Russian energy company Inter RAO stopped supplying electricity to the Finnish market, citing “problems receiving payments” due to European sanctions, although several experts in the Nordic country attributed it to political reasons.
After the invasion and the imposition of sanctions by the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded that gas buyers from “enemy” countries start paying in rubles to bank accounts chosen by the Moscow regime, under penalty of having their supply.
The list of “enemy countries”, published in early March, includes the United States, European Union member states, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, Taiwan, South Korea, Norway and Australia. EU members are the main consumers of Russian gas.
“From April onwards, payments for the supply of gas must be made in rubles, using new bank coordinates, of which the partners were informed in a timely manner,” demanded Gazprom.
Source: With Agencies