Russia announced its first retaliatory move against Finland after the Helsinki Government officially expressed its desire to join the NATO military alliance.
Finland’s state-owned gas wholesaler, Gasum, informed in a statement on Friday morning that imports from Russia shall be halted on Saturday.
“On the afternoon of Friday, May 20, Gazprom Export informed Gasum that natural gas supplies to Finland under Gasum’s supply contract will be cut on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at 07.00,” it said in a statement.
In April, the announcement came after Russia’s state-run giant Gazprom told Poland and Bulgaria that it would halt gas flow after both nations denied Moscow’s demand to pay for gas supplies in rubles.
Finland Applies to Join NATO
Gasum provided no reasons for the move; however, Finland has also been reported to have refused to pay for Russian gas in rubles. This comes just two days later, Finland officially applied to join NATO. Russia had already warned of retaliation if the conventionally neutral nation became a member of the Western Military alliance.
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his concern about the expansion of NATO and said that NATO “is a problem.” He said that Russia would respond to the development of military infrastructure in Finland and Sweden; however, he also insisted Moscow had “no problems” with the nations.
Finland and Sweden do not have official membership in NATO since many decisions on the expansion demand approval of all 30 members of the alliance and their parliaments, and Turkey has already voiced objections.