Russia has cut Finland’s electricity supply, says Finnish grid operator

Russia has cut electricity supply to Finland, a Finnish grid operator has said. The official was quoted by AFP. Tensions are rising between Russia and Finland over the latter’s bid to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Finland announced on Thursday that it wanted to join NATO ‘without delay’. Russia has termed such a move to be a ‘threat’.

The supplies “are zero since midnight,” Timo Kaukonen, the Finnish official told AFP.

RAO Nordic, a subsidiary of Russian state energy holding Inter RAO had told AFP on Friday (May 13) that Finland’s electricity supply would be cut on May 14. The company mentioned issue of arrears.

“We are forced to suspend the electricity import starting from May 14,” RAO Nordic said as per AFP.

“RAO Nordic is not able to make payments for the imported electricity from Russia,” they added,

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

Russian President Vladimir Putin is fiercely against former Soviet states and countries bordering Russia joining NATO. Putin has expressed displeasure at Ukraine’s moves to join the alliance prior to Russian invasion that took place on February 24.

“The expansion of NATO and the approach of the alliance to our borders does not make the world and our continent more stable and secure,”  Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has been quoted as saying by Reuters.

Russia said on Saturday that it will take necessary precautionary measures if NATO nuclear forces and infrastructure was deployed near Russian borders

“It will be necessary to respond … by taking adequate precautionary measures that would ensure the viability of deterrence,” Interfax agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko as saying 

(With inputs from agencies)