Russia will cut electricity to Finland

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Russia will cut its delivery of electricity to Finland starting Saturday, RAO Nordic said Friday, which is a subsidiary of Russian state energy holding Inter RAO. It’s calling the stoppage unprecedented.

“We are forced to suspend the electricity import starting from May 14,” RAO Nordic said, explaining as the reason that it had yet to receive payment for volumes sold in May. “RAO Nordic is not able to make payments for the imported electricity from Russia.”

“This situation is exceptional and happened for the first time in over 20 years of our trading history,” RAO Nordic added.

The unprecedented stoppage comes immediately on the heels of Finland’s prime minister and president in a joint announcement Thursday affirming the Scandinavian country’s intent to apply for NATO membership. Sweden too has been coordinating with Helsinki over joining the Western military alliance.

Given Finland relies on Russia for 10% of its electricity supply, the stoppage is not expected to have significant effect – also as nuclear power accounts for over35% of Finland’s electricity needs among five operating nuclear reactors.

The Finnish electricity network operator said it has contingency plans in place:

“We’re prepared for this and it won’t be difficult. We can make do with a bit more imports from Sweden and Norway,” Fingrid’s manager for operational planning Timo Kaukonen told AFP.