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Russia halts natural gas supplies to Finland
Russia to suspend natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria from April 27 (Photo: Pixabay)

The Finnish state-owned energy firm Gasum said that Russia will halt its supply of natural gas to Finland on Saturday (May 21).

The announcement came as Finland has been refusing to pay for its supplies in roubles. But it also follows Finland's decision to apply for Nato membership.

Gasum said the move was "regrettable" but there would be no disruption to customers after the 04:00 GMT cut-off.

Despite its invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, Russia continues to supply gas to many European countries.

After Western powers sanctioned Russia over the war, Russia said "unfriendly" countries must pay for gas using the Russian currency, a move the EU considers blackmail.

National flag of Finland - Pixabay

The BBC said that reliance on Russian energy is a contributing factor in the cost-of-living crisis faced by many consumers.

It mentioned that Finland imports most of its gas from Russia but gas accounts for less than a tenth of the country's energy consumption.

Turkey threatens to block Finland and Sweden from joining NATO

Gasum CEO Mika Wiljanen said in a statement: "It is highly regrettable that natural gas supplies under our supply contract will now be halted."

He added: "However, we have been carefully preparing for this situation and provided that there will be no disruptions in the gas transmission network, we will be able to supply all our customers with gas in the coming months."

Kremlin spokesperson: Other EU countries may be cut of Russian natural gas

Asked about the matter, a Kremlin spokesman said "it is obvious that nobody is going to deliver anything for free".

Last Sunday, Russia also cut electricity supplies to Finland. It had threatened retaliation should Finland apply to join Nato.

Source: BBC