Russia will cut off gas supplies to Finland on Saturday because the country refuses to pay for deliveries in rubles, Finnish state-owned energy group Gasum and Russia’s Gazprom have announced.
“It is very unfortunate that the supply of natural gas under our supply contract is interrupted. In any case, we have carefully prepared for this situation and there will be no interruptions to the gas supply networks,” Gasum chairman Mika Wiljanen said in a statement.
Gazprom confirmed that it will stop gas deliveries to Finland on Saturday as it has not received payment for April shipments.
Gazprom asked in April that the gas it exports to other countries be paid in rubles and not in euros, but Gasum rejected this demand and announced that it had requested an arbitration procedure.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitri Peskov said it was “clear that no one will give anything away for free.”
Although gas only represents 8% of Finland’s energy matrix, practically all that is used in the country comes from Russia.
Finland announced measures to substitute Russian gas next winter, including leasing a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification unit with Estonia for ten years.
The Russians have already cut off gas supplies to countries including Poland and Bulgaria, which also refused to pay for deliveries in rubles.