Finland on Saturday felt the heat for expressing its desire to join NATO, as RAO Nordic, a subsidiary of Russian state energy holding Inter RAO said that they will suspend electricity supplies to Finland this weekend.
Both sides, however, did not explicitly accept that the Finnish bid for joining NATO was behind the suspension.
The move came after Inter RAO said that it has not received payment for electricity sold in May.
However, the move comes shortly after the Russian foreign ministry said that there may be ‘military-technical and other’ reciprocal steps to Finland’s NATO bid.
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Russia also said that it sees Finnish bid of joining NATO as a threat.
The tensions between both nations are expected to soar as Finland shares a 1,300-km (810-mile) border with Russia.
The nation earlier steered clear of discussions regarding joining NATO in order to avoid angering Moscow but the war on Ukraine has led to a belief amongst the Finnish that joining NATO will allow them to thwart the Russians in case it decides to attack Baltic and Scandinavian nations.
Russia is also likely to be irked with Sweden also will apply for joining the 30-nation NATO as early as Monday
The nation will formally announce its plan to join NATO on Sunday.
Finland’s grid operator, Fingrid, said the suspension of supplies will not affect the country.
It pointed out that only 10% of Finland’s electricity requirements are fulfilled by Russia.
“The lack of electricity import from Russia will be compensated by importing more electricity from Sweden and by generating more electricity in Finland,” Fingrid’s senior vice president of power system operations Reima Päivinen said in a release.
It further said that Finland is expected to become self-sufficient in electrical energy in 2023 while adding that the nation’s ‘self-sufficiency in electricity generation is constantly improving’.
Russian president Vladimir Putin, who despite building a Russian economy which could stave off the effects of sanctions, is facing the crunch due to Russia’s economic isolation.
Putin earlier this week warned Western nations that the sanctions will end up hurting them more than they are supposed to hurt Moscow.
Russia earlier cut supplies of gas to Bulgaria and Poland saying that both nations declined to pay in rubles.
(with inputs from AFP and BBC)
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