Finland’s government emergency preparedness committee has assured that the country is “prepared” to face a possible cut in natural gas supplies by Russia.
“Finland is prepared for a suspension of imports of Russian natural gas,” the commission said in a statement. with Finland, NATO border will move even closer to Russiaalmost 1,400 kilometers of common line that strengthens the Alliance’s position in a nearby area of great economic and geostrategic interest for Moscow: the Arctic.
The Kremlin stressed yesterday that Finland’s accession to NATO would pose a threat to Russia and has stated that “the next expansion of NATO does not make the continent more stable or secure”.
“Definitely”, replied the spokesman for the Russian Presidency, Dimitri Peskov, to a question about whether Finland’s entry into NATO would be a threat to Moscow. Likewise, he has pointed out that Russia calculated the risks of neighboring countries joining the bloc in the face of the invasion of Ukraine.
The country imports most of its gas from neighboring Russia, but gas accounts for only 5% of its annual energy consumption. Top Finnish politicians had been warned of a possible cessation of gas exports by Russia on Friday, the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti reported on Thursday.
Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen told reporters he could not confirm the report, while the Kremlin said the newspaper’s report was “most likely a hoax” and reiterated that state gas company Gazprom remained a supplier of reliable gas.
But losing that gas supply would mean industry giants like Neste and Metsa and also other companies in the forestry, chemical and food sectors would have to find alternative energy sources or adapt their production.
State-owned Gasgrid Finland had no indication of any disruption to gas flows on Friday, a spokesman told Reuters.
Last week, the government said it was prepared for the possibility that Russia would cut off its gas supplies at the end of May in response to Finland’s refusal to comply with Russian demands for payment in rubles.
Finland is also connected to the European gas network through the BalticConnector, a Finnish-Estonian gas pipeline that connects Finland with the Baltic countries, which historically relied heavily on Russian gas, but have diversified their supply through import terminals from liquefied natural gas (LNG) and better connections with Western Europe.