Joe Gilbertson | Jun 20, 2022 | 12
Russia Cuts Electricity Supply to Finland
Russia halted electricity exports to Finland last weekend after the nation’s president threatened to join NATO.
In a press release, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto explained how Russia’s 2021 attempts to block its neighbors from joining NATO had “altered the security environment of Finland. He also expressed “deep concern” regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and “stressed the imperative of peace.”
Somewhat ironically, the Kremlin responded by accusing the Nordic nation of abandoning “its traditional policy of military neutrality” and claimed there were “no threats to Finland’s security.”
“This is what is happening now,” said President Niinisto. “By joining NATO, Finland strengthens its own security and assumes responsibility. It is not away from anyone else.”
Moscow’s official story is that it did not cut power to Finland over NATO, but over Western sanctions impacting Finland’s ability to pay Russian energy companies. A week later, Russia said it would cut Finland’s supply of natural gas after it refused to break contract and start paying in rubles.
Finland shares an 830-mile border with Russia and gets about 10% of its electricity and 68% of its natural gas from Russia.
Finnish grid operator Fingrid said the nation could easily replace the lost power by boosting domestic production and importing from Sweden and had already anticipated the power cut by decreasing transmission capacity by one third. Before the announcement on natural gas, Finland predicted wholesale power prices to jump from $8 to $95 or higher.
Author’s Note: Russia is using Finland as an example for nations that rely much heavier on Moscow for power. Such a move would be devastating for Germany, which has already cut its share of Russian energy imports from 55% to 35%.