Russia Halts Electricity Exports to Finland Over Lack of Payment
Russia’s biggest electricity company is expected to halt power exports to Finland over payment problems.
Rao Nordic, the Finnish-based subsidiary of Russian-owned utility company Inter Rao, announced on Friday that all electricity imports from Russia will be halted “for the time being” starting Saturday due to lack of payment. Fingrid, Finland’s electricity distribution company, assured that shipments will resume once the payment issues are resolved, stressing that there isn’t a threat to the country’s energy supply given that Russian electricity imports account for only 10% of total electricity consumption.
“The lack of electricity import from Russia will be compensated by importing more electricity from Sweden and by generating more electricity in Finland,” said Fingrid senior vice president Reima Paivinen. Fingrid confirmed that Nord Pool, the pan-European power exchange, failed to pay Inter RAO for electricity since May 6. “Nord Pool is the one paying for them. Fingrid is not a party in this electricity trade, we provide the transfer connection from Russia to Finland,” Paivinen explained.
Although Rao Nordic is not subject to Western sanctions imposed against Russia over its military operation in Ukraine, the 51%-owned Lithuanian subsidiary Inter Rao Lietuva has been slapped with restrictions. The electricity stoppage also incidentally coincides with the timing of Finland’s NATO membership: the Nordic country on Thursday announced that it’s seeking a membership in the military alliance “without delay,” ultimately abandoning its neutrality maintained with Russia since the Cold War.
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