Putin responds to his threat to Finland by cutting off their power supply in harsh retaliation
Russia has suspended electricity exports to Finland, Finnish operator Fingrid confirmed in Australia on Sunday.
It comes after the Finnish government announced plans to join NATO and an imminent battle of words between the two presidents.
Watch the video above to see how NATO is doubling down on countries bordering Ukraine.
Fingrid’s Senior Vice President, Power System Operations, Reima Päivinen, said power was effectively cut off at 8 a.m. AEST on Saturday.
He added that the suspension had no impact on the market and that Finland “can handle” the cut, as Russian electricity accounts for only a small part of the country’s total consumption.
“We are also going into the summer, and less electricity will be needed,” said Päivinien, adding that he was “confident that there will be no major problems next winter”.
Fingrid said Russia suspended electricity exports on Friday due to problems receiving payments.
The move comes as the Finnish government plans to release a second white paper on Sunday proposing the country join NATO, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told reporters on Thursday.
The proposal would then be put to a parliamentary vote with a plenary session scheduled for Monday morning.
Russia’s foreign ministry said Finland’s possible entry into NATO represented a “radical change in the country’s foreign policy” and warned of retaliation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announces new threat as the war in Ukraine continues.
Finland shares a border of 830 miles with Russia, and its accession would mean that Russia would share a wall with a country formally aligned with the US.
“Russia will be forced to retaliate, both military-technical and otherwise, to stop the threats to its national security arising in this regard,” it said.
In late April, Gazprom said it had completely halted deliveries to the Polish gas company PGNiG and Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz after they refused to comply with a demand from Moscow to pay in rubles instead of euros or dollars.
More NATO Backlash
Russia is not the only country negatively about Scandinavia’s plans to join NATO.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Friday he is not looking at Finland and Sweden’s moves to join NATO “positively”, accusing both provinces of harboring Kurdish “terrorist organizations”.
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Saturday she now expects a bilateral meeting with her Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
Çavuşoğlu has said Ankara’s position is clear: “Those countries should not support PKK/YPG terrorist groups,” Turkish state news agency Anadolu said on Saturday.
The PKK, or Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which strives for an independent state in Turkey, has waged an armed struggle with Turkey for decades and has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union.
After Saturday’s informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin, Linde told Swedish broadcaster SVT that “we have a very good and constructive relationship”.