Gasum, Finland’s state-owned gas wholesaler, said in a statement that natural gas imports from Russia will be halted from Saturday.
“On the afternoon of Friday May 20, Gazprom Export informed Gasum that natural gas supplies to Finland under Gasum’s supply contract will be cut on Saturday May 21, 2022 at 07.00,” the firm said.
The move might be the first retaliatory action against Finland by the Vladimir Putin Administration after lawmakers in Helsinki officially applied to join NATO. Sweden also requested to enter the military alliance.
Finland’s and Sweden’s membership requires the approval of all 30 members of the alliance and their parliaments.
President Putin has said the Ukraine invasion is a “special military operation” to fight anti-Russian nationalism fomented by the West. Analysts say the growing presence by NATO in neighboring countries is the real reason behind the ongoing war.
“It is highly regrettable that natural gas supplies under our supply contract will now be halted,” Gasum CEO Mika Wiljanen said. “The company has been carefully preparing for this situation. 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.”
Gasum gave no reason for the move, but Finland has also reportedly refused to pay for Russian gas in rubles, as demanded by Putin.