Russia cutting gas supply to Finland not linked to NATO bid

According to him, the end of gas supplies from Russia also carried a lot of symbolism since it marked the end of an era. The pipe will, in all likelihood, be closed for good which in turn will speed up the transformation towards renewable energy sources. [EPA-EFE/MAURI RATILAINEN]

Russia’s decision to stop selling gas to Finland is not related to the country’s decision to apply for NATO membership, parliament Speaker Matti Vanhanen from the Center party said on Saturday.

“It would be easy to say that decisions concerning energy would be part of this harassment, but that is not the case. They are linked to sanctions and to the fact that we are not willing to accept making payments in roubles. And they informed us beforehand that deliveries will soon be cut,” said Vanhanen in the YLE current affairs programme.

According to him, the end of gas supplies from Russia also carried a lot of symbolism since it marked the end of an era. The pipe will, in all likelihood, be closed for good which in turn will speed up the transformation towards renewable energy sources.

To secure the country’s gas needs, the Finnish transmission network company Gasgrid signed on Friday (20 May) a ten-year lease agreement with the US based company Excelerate Energy for the LNG terminal ship Exemplar.

According to the government, the terminal ship will be used next winter and will be located in Southern Finland. If the needed port structures in Estonia are completed first, the plan is to place the vessel temporarily on the Estonian coast. The costs of the LNG terminal ship project are estimated to be around €460 million under the ten-year agreement.

Natural gas accounts for about 5% of all energy consumption in Finland. It is mainly used in industry, transport, and combined heat and power generation. Around 30% has been imported from the Baltic States through Balticconnector pipeline. That import together with the LNG terminal ship, is said to be enough to meet the demand.

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