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Russia will cut off natural gas exports to Finland Saturday

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö with U.S. President Joe Biden (L), and Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden (R), at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Russia will cut off natural gas exports to Finland Saturday, according to Finnish gas company Gasum. Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/7e372c16b6502c9e916d50693e43bec8/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö with U.S. President Joe Biden (L), and Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden (R), at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Russia will cut off natural gas exports to Finland Saturday, according to Finnish gas company Gasum. Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI | License Photo

May 20 (UPI) -- Finnish gas company Gasum said Friday that Russia will cut natural gas to Finland Saturday.

Gasum did not cite a specific reason for the cutoff, which comes after Finland formally applied to join NATO.

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"It is highly regrettable that natural gas supplies under our supply contract will now be halted. However, we have been carefully preparing for this situation and provided that there will be no disruptions in the gas transmission network, we will be able to supply all our customers with gas in the coming months," said Gasum CEO Mika Wiljanen in a statement.

The company statement said, "On the afternoon of Friday May 20, Gazprom Export informed Gasum that natural gas supplies to Finland under Gasum's supply contract will be cut on Saturday May 21, 2022 at 07.00."

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Gasum said there would be no disruptions in gas supply because, "Starting from tomorrow, during the upcoming summer season, Gasum will supply natural gas to its customers from other sources through the Balticconnector pipeline. Gasum's gas filling stations in the gas network area will continue in normal operation."

A Gasum statement Wednesday had said there was "a real risk of the natural gas supplies under the company's gas supply contract ending and that it is likely that imports of natural gas from Russia to Finland will cease."

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The company said then that its aim was to ensure the availability of natural gas for its Finnish customers, but that "constraints on transmission capacity can make this challenging."

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Russia cut off electricity power flows to Finland last Saturday, claiming problems in receiving payments. Russia has been demanding that nations pay for gas in rubles.

In April, the Russian state-run gas company Gazprom notified Bulgaria and Poland that their natural gas would stop flowing after those countries failed to pay for their gas in rubles as Russia demanded.

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