Finns say Russia is stopping natural gas supplies

Finns say Russia is stopping natural gas supplies – Mail Bonus

Russia will block natural gas supplies to Finland after the Nordic country that applied for NATO membership this week rejected President Vladimir Putin’s demand to pay in rubles, the Finnish state-owned energy company said on Friday, the latest escalation of European energy in Ukraine’s war. .

Finland is the latest country to lose its energy supply, which is used to generate electricity and heavy industry, after rejecting Russia’s directive. Poland and Bulgaria were shut down late last month but have been preparing for a loss of natural gas or are receiving supplies from other countries.

Putin has declared that “unfriendly foreign buyers” will open two state-owned Gazprombank accounts, one to pay in euros and dollars as specified in the agreements and the other in rubles. Italian energy company Eni said this week that it was “initiating proceedings” to open a euro and ruble account.

The European Commission, the European Union’s executive director, has said that the system does not violate EU sanctions if countries pay in the currency specified in their agreements and then formally signal that the payment process is complete. But it says that opening another account in rubles would violate sanctions.

It has left the countries to decide what to do next. Experts say the EU’s position is vague enough for the Kremlin to continue trying to undermine unity among its 27 member states – but losing major European customers such as Italy and Germany would cost Russia a great deal.

It comes as Europe tries to reduce its dependence on Russian oil and gas to avoid pouring hundreds of millions into Putin’s coffers every day while building ample reserves for the winter from scarce supplies around the world.

Finland rejected the new payment system and energy company Gasum said its supply from Russia would be suspended on Saturday.

CEO Mika Wiljanen said the cuts were “very regrettable”.

But “assuming there is no disruption to the gas transmission network, we will be able to supply gas to all our customers in the coming months,” said Wiljanen.

Natural gas accounted for only 6 percent of Finland’s total energy consumption by 2020, according to Finnish radio station YLE. Almost all of this gas came from Russia.

It pales in comparison to large importers such as Italy and Germany, which receive 40 percent and 35 percent of their gas from Russia, respectively.

According to Finnish Gasum, the Russian energy giant Gazprom said in April that future payments in its supply agreement would have to be made in rubles instead of euros.

The postponement was announced the same week that Finland, along with Sweden, applied for membership in the NATO military organization, which marks one of the biggest geopolitical consequences of the war that could rewrite Europe’s security map.

The Helsinki government said on Friday that it had signed a 10-year lease for a liquefied natural gas terminal in the Gulf of Finland and that the necessary port facilities would be built along the coasts of the Nordic countries and Estonia, said Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintila. in a statement.

It “will play a major role in securing gas supplies for Finland’s industry,” said Lintila. The ship should be ready for use next winter.

Finland and Estonia have been working together to lease the LNG terminal vessel, which will provide sufficient storage and supply capacity to allow Russian gas to be abandoned in neighboring countries, said Gasgrid Finland, the transmission network company. A gas pipeline between neighboring countries will make it possible to import gas from the Baltic states instead of Russia.

At the same time, the Italian company Eni said on Tuesday that it was complying with Putin’s directive “in light of the imminent payment in the next few days” but did not agree with the changes.

Italian

Mario Draghi has said that he believes that this is a breach of the agreement and has called for the European Commission to issue a ruling so that companies know whether sanctions have been violated.

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