Moscow (The Times Groupe)- The Russian energy supplier RAO Nordic announces is will suspend deliveries of electricity to Finland from Saturday due to an issue with payments.
The company says it has not been paid for previous deliveries.
The Finnish grid operator said Russia provided only a small percentage of the country’s electricity and that alternative sources could be used to replace it.
After Finland said it planned to join NATO on Thursday, Russia threatened to take “retaliatory steps.”
Finland shares a 1,300-kilometer (810-mile) border with Russia and has previously avoided Nato to avoid antagonizing its eastern neighbor. In spite of this, public support for NATO membership has increased since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Finland is expected to announce its plans to join NATO on Sunday.
Finland’s decision was not explicitly linked to Rao Nordic’s decision.
A Russian state-owned firm said: “This situation is unprecedented and happened for the very first time in over twenty years of our trading history”.
Rao Nordic and Fingrid, the grid operator in Finland, did not explain the cause of the payment difficulties.
Last month, Russia cut off gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland for refusing to pay in roubles, a change they said would violate western sanctions.
Only about 10% of Finland’s electricity is supplied by Russia, so Finnrid said it wasn’t expecting a shortage as a result of the cutoff.
“We will compensate for the loss of Russian electricity by importing more from Sweden and generating more electricity in Finland,” said Reima Päivinen, senior vice president of power system operations at Fingrid.
In addition to decreasing demand, a significant amount of wind power is expected to come online as the weather gets warmer. Fingrid added that the opening of a new nuclear power station, due to open this summer, would more than compensate for the lost supplies from Russia.