Russia stopped supplying electricity to Finland

Trying to “avoid tensions”, the Finnish president informed his counterpart Vladimir Putin on Saturday about his country’s impending candidacy for NATO. The Kremlin master called this historic change a ‘mistake’.

“The conversation was straightforward and straightforward and went off without a hitch. Avoiding tensions was considered important,’ said Finnish head of state Sauli Niinistö, a very regular interlocutor with the Russian president in recent years.

According to Moscow, Vladimir Putin told him that seeing Finland end its long-standing policy of military non-alignment “would be a mistake, as there is no threat to Finland’s security.”

President Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced on Thursday that they wanted Finland to join NATO “without delay”, with a formalization of the candidacy scheduled for Sunday, and a vote in Parliament no doubt on Monday.

more electricity

Helsinki considers that the invasion of Ukraine, but also Moscow’s demand that there be no further enlargement of NATO, justify its change of posture.

Also historically outside military alliances so far, Sweden is also gearing up to make the decision to join NATO, with a key Social Democratic Party meeting on Sunday in Stockholm. Moscow threatened to take ‘military-technical’ measures in retaliation.

These started? As announced on Friday by the subsidiary of a Russian supplier, electricity exports from Russia to Finland, which account for just under 10% of the Nordic country’s consumption, were suspended at midnight on Friday night on Saturday. .

Russia’s exports to Finland “are currently at zero”, Timo Kaukonen, an official at electric grid operator Fingrid, told AFP. But the demand is met through significant imports from Sweden.

According to the company RAO Nordic, a subsidiary in Helsinki of the Russian group InterRAO, this suspension is, however, linked to unpaid accounts registered a week ago, of which the exact causes were not specified.

Turkish imbroglio

Finland, which shares a 1,300-kilometer border and painful past with Russia, said it expected measures like computer attacks or border violations. “We are prepared for different types of action (…) but there is no information indicating that Russia would initiate military action against Finland,” Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Saturday.

In addition to Russian hostility, another trap emerged on Friday in Sweden and Finland’s march towards NATO, when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan showed his hostility to see them join the alliance, which currently has 30 members, including Russia. Turkey.

The Turkish head of state notably criticized these two Nordic countries for serving as a shelter for terrorists from the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, considered a terrorist organization by Ankara, but also by the European Union and the United States.

Unanimity being required, Ankara is in a position to block the process, while NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he hoped the two Nordic countries would be welcomed “with open arms”.

yes social democrats

Invited to an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers to be held in Berlin this weekend, Sweden and Finland are expected to hold bilateral talks with Turkey on Saturday. Stockholm and Helsinki admitted to not having received any signs of Turkish hostility.

Finnish diplomacy chief Pekka Haavisto said he was confident “in the fact that in the end we will find a solution and that Finland and Sweden will become NATO members” before negotiations begin. “It’s best to take this calmly. Until now, Turkey’s message to us has been the exact opposite,” Niinistö said on Saturday in an interview with Finnish television Yle.

However, a new step was taken on Saturday in Helsinki, with the green light of the Social Democratic Party led by the prime minister. Of the 60 members of the party leadership, 53 voted in favor, 5 against and two abstained, according to the result of the party leadership vote.

“We hope to be able to send our applications this week, together with Sweden. They have their own process, but I hope we make the decisions at the same time,” Marin said.

/ATS

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