Russia will suspend power exports to Finland starting Saturday due to problems in receiving payments, Finland’s transmission system operator Fingrid said in a statement on Friday.
“RAO Nordic Oy, a subsidiary of the Russian entity Inter RAO, which trades electricity over the 400 kV interconnectors, will suspend imports of electricity to Finland at 1 am on Saturday 14 May 2022,” according to Fingrid.
The subsidiary said that it has not received payments for the volumes sold since May 6 and that this is the first time it has happened in over 20 years of its trading history.
“Unfortunately, in the current situation of lack of cash income, RAO Nordic is not able to make payments for the imported electricity from Russia. Therefore we are forced to suspend the electricity import starting from 14th of May,” RAO Nordic Oy said.
According to Fingrid, the adequacy of electricity in Finland is not under threat, with Russian imports in recent years covering 10% of Finland’s total consumption.
“The lack of electricity import from Russia will be compensated by importing more electricity from Sweden and by generating more electricity in Finland,” said Reima Päivinen, senior vice president of power system operations at Fingrid.
Some context: The Finnish government is planning to issue a second white paper on Sunday proposing that the country joins NATO, Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told reporters on Thursday. The proposal would then be put into a parliamentary vote with a plenary scheduled for Monday morning.
Russia's foreign ministry said Finland's possible accession to NATO marked a "radical change in the country's foreign policy" and warned of countermeasures.
"Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature, in order to stop the threats to its national security that arise in this regard," it said.
In late April, Gazprom said it fully halted supplies to Polish gas company PGNiG and Bulgaria's Bulgargaz after they refused to meet a demand by Moscow to pay in rubles rather than euros or dollars.
CNN's Luke McGee contributed reporting to this post.