Russia is about to cut off Finland’s natural gas supply

Gasum, Finland’s state-owned gas company, said in a statement on Friday that Russian gas would stop flowing into Finland at 7 a.m. local time on Saturday. Poland and Bulgaria They were cut off in late April because they didn’t pay in Russian currency — a move EU leaders called Moscow’s “blackmail” at the time.

Gasum chief executive Mika Wiljanen said: “It is very regrettable that gas supply under our supply contracts will now cease,” adding that the company has been “well prepared for this scenario”.

Earlier this week, Gassum said it was preparing to turn off the taps after Russia refused to comply with President Vladimir Putin’s demands. “Unfriendly” countries Pay for gasoline in rubles, not euros or dollars as stipulated in the contract.

Finland officially announced its intention to join NATO on Sunday, relinquishing decades of neutrality and ignoring threats of possible Russian retaliation to bolster its security in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

Russian state gas giant Gazprom did not immediately respond to CNN Business when asked for comment.

Finland According to the International Energy Agency, nearly 68% of natural gas consumption in 2020 is dependent on Russia.

But according to Eurostat and the European Network of Gas Transmission System Operators, Russia’s gas exports account for only 3 percent of the Nordic country’s total energy mix, which includes energy from biofuels and nuclear power.

Wiljanen said Gasoum “will be able to supply all [of its] There will be customers of gas in the coming months” provided there is no disruption to the gas transmission network, but he added that winter will be “challenging”.

Gasum Vice President Olga Väisänen told CNN on Friday that Finland also receives gas via Estonia via its Baltic Sea connection. The pipeline connects Finland’s gas transmission network to Estonia’s and allows it to tap into Latvia’s underground storage.

Gazprom have told customers They had to open two accounts in Gazprombank – one in euros and the second in rubles, to pay for gas.

Since then, EU officials, governments and energy companies have been scrambling to figure out whether the new payment mechanism violates sanctions on Russia.

besides a lot of confusion. Some European energy giants have started opening new accounts.Italian energy giant Eni (Second)It said on Tuesday that it planned to open two accounts in Gazprombank, one in euros and the other in rubles.

But the European Commission is sticking to guidelines issued last week barring buyers from opening ruble accounts. European Commission chief spokesman Eric Mammer told a news conference on Tuesday that the move would violate sanctions.

“Anything that opens an account and pays to that account in a currency beyond the contractual currency with Gazprombank, and then makes a statement that … you have made the payment is a violation of sanctions,” he said.

With bills due, some countries desperately need a solution. Germany is the largest economy in the EU, Heavy reliance on Russian gas Powering its households and industry, although it has managed to reduce Russia’s share of its imports to 35 percent from 55 percent before the war began.

Earlier this week, the European Union said it would spend 210 billion euros ($222 billion) to wean itself off Russian oil and gas.

its “REPowerEU” program The goal is to reduce Russia’s natural gas consumption by 66% by the end of this year and completely break its dependence on Russia by 2027 – by conserving energy, finding alternative sources of energy and accelerating the transition to renewable energy.

Robert North contributed reporting.

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