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Finland Cancels Nuclear Deal With Russia Ahead Of NATO Decision

Finland has canceled its contract with Russian state-owned power giant Rosatom for a new nuclear power plant over the war in Ukraine.

Fennovoima, a Finnish-led consortium, said on Monday it had terminated the contract for the construction of what would have been the country’s third nuclear power plant, AFP reported, citing consortium representatives as saying at a press conference that earlier delays and war had increased risks. 

The final construction permit for the nuclear power plant was expected to be issued by the end of this year.

“The decision to terminate the EPC contract with RAOS Project is not made lightly. In such a large project there are significant complexities and decisions are made only after thorough considerations. We fully acknowledge the negative impacts and do our best to mitigate those”, Fennovoima said in a statement

The cancellation with Rosatom comes as both Finland and Sweden speed up talks about joining NATO. Both countries are expected to announce their decision to join the Western military alliance by May 16th, with some reports indicating Finland will make its announcement on May 12th. 

On April 28, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg repeated the alliance’s offer to grant accelerated membership to Finland and Sweden in light of Russian aggression against Ukraine.  

Finland shares a land border with Russia that is over 800 miles long, threatening national security. Russia considers NATO's further expansion a direct threat to its own national security, with Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov recently warning that Moscow would “take additional measures” if Finland and Sweden joined NATO.

The cancellation of the Rosatom contract also comes as the European Union moves closer to banning Russian oil. Finland has no coal, oil, or natural gas resources and depends on nuclear power and Russia for imports.

On April 7, Finland announced it would spend up to $924 million to hasten its independence from Russian oil and gas. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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