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Russian could cut off the natural gas supply to Finland late on Friday or early Saturday, Gasum, the state-owned energy provider in Finland, said on Wednesday.
“Gasum considers there to be a real risk of the natural gas supplies under the company’s gas supply contract ending and that it is likely that imports of natural gas from Russia to Finland will cease either late on Friday, May 20 or on Saturday, May 21, 2022,” the Finnish company said in a statement.
The firm said it had not received any information about the matter from either Gazprom Export or the Russian transmission operator.
“Gasum will continue preparing for the situation together with its customers and the national authorities responsible for emergency supply,” the company said, adding that it would look to ensure gas from other sources via the Balticconnector gas pipeline, but “constraints on transmission capacity can make this challenging.”
Yesterday, Gasum said it refuses to accept Gazprom’s demand to pay in rubles for gas instead of euros as stipulated in the gas supply contract. Gazprom has also made other claims on Gasum regarding the supply contract.
“Overall, this is something that Gasum cannot accept and has decided to take the disputes regarding the supply contract to arbitration in accordance with the contract,” the Finnish firm said.
Finland has been bracing for being cut off from Russian gas since Gazprom stopped gas deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria at the end of April.
Moreover, Finland—together with its Scandinavian neighbor Sweden—formally applied on Wednesday to join NATO. Russia has warned both countries against applying to become NATO members.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine pushed the previously relatively neutral EU members Finland and Sweden to consider joining the Western military alliance. Russia, for its part, has cited NATO expanding to its borders as a reason to consider it a threat to its interests.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com