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Russia halts natural gas supply to Finland amid NATO membership bid

Emerging report has disclosed that Russia’s Gazprom has stopped natural gas exports to Finland over a payment dispute.

The supply cut-off was announced by Gasgrid, the Finnish gas system operator via a statement released on Saturday.

“Gas deliveries via the Imatra feeder point have been interrupted on 21 May 2022. The amount of gas needed by the Finnish gas market will be imported into the Finnish gas system via Balticconnector in accordance with the transfer requests made by the market participants. Gasgrid has implemented a change in the direction of gas imports at Balticconnector and the gas system is currently in balance,” the statement reads.

Imatra is the entry point for Russian gas into Finland while the Balticconnector links Finland to Estonia’s gas grid.

Gazprom had demanded that European countries pay for Russian gas supplies in roubles because of sanctions imposed over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, but Finland refused to do so.

Gazprom on Friday said flows would be cut because Finland had not complied with the new Russian rules requiring settlement in roubles.

Gasum, Finnish state-owned gas wholesaler, also confirmed the gas supply halt in a statement.

“Natural gas supplies to Finland under Gasum’s supply contract have been cut off. Starting from today, during the upcoming summer season, Gasum will supply natural gas to its customers from other sources through the Balticconnector pipeline,” the statement reads.

The gas cut-off comes as Finland submitted its bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) on Wednesday, despite Russia’s warning.

Russia had suspended electricity supply to Finland, citing payment difficulties.

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