A drilling rig at a gas processing facility operated by Gazprom.
Maxim Shemetov | Reuters
Russia may have just taken its first retaliatory move against Finland after lawmakers in Helsinki made a formal application to join the NATO military alliance.
Jassum, Finland’s state-owned gas wholesaler, said in a statement Friday morning that natural gas imports from Russia will stop as of Saturday.
“On the afternoon of Friday, May 20, Gazprom Export informed Jasom that the supply of natural gas to Finland under the Gazum supply contract will be cut off on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 07.00,” it said in a statement.
Mika Wiljanen, CEO of Gazum, added that the company was preparing for such a situation, “and provided there is no interruption in the gas transmission network, we will be able to supply all of our customers with gas in the coming months.”
“Gazum will supply its customers with natural gas from other sources through the Baltic Pipeline. Gasum’s gas filling stations in the gas network area will continue to operate normally,” he said.
A Gazprom spokesman was not immediately available when contacted by CNBC.
This comes after the state-run Russian gas giant Gazprom In April he told Poland and Bulgaria They will halt supplies after the two countries refused Moscow’s request to pay for gas supplies in rubles.
Jassum did not give a reason for the move, but Finland has reportedly also refused to pay for Russian gas in rubles. It also comes just two days after Finland formally submitted an application to join NATO. Russia has warned of retaliation if the traditionally neutral country becomes a member of the Western military alliance.
After the request of Finland, along with Sweden, the Scandinavian country, Moscow wasted no time in expressing its feelings with the Russian President Russian President Vladimir Putin He said Monday that NATO expansion is a “problem”.
Putin said Russia would respond to expanding military infrastructure in Sweden and Finland, but also insisted that Moscow “has no problems” with the two countries.
The membership of Finland and Sweden in NATO has not yet been agreed because any decision on enlargement requires the approval of all 30 members of the alliance and their parliaments – Turkey has already expressed its objections.
CNBC’s Holly Eliat contributed to this article.
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