Russia may have just made its first retaliatory move against Finland after lawmakers in Helsinki officially applied to join the NATO military alliance nearly two days ago.
Gasum, Finland’s state-owned gas wholesaler, said in a statement Friday morning that imports from Russia will be halted on Saturday.
Gasum’s CEO, Mika Wiljanen, added that the company had been preparing for such a 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.”
This move comes after Russia’s state-run gas giant Gazprom in April told Poland and Bulgaria that it would halt flows after both countries refused Moscow’s demand to pay for gas supplies in rubles.
Gasum gave no reason for the move, but Finland has also reportedly refused to pay for Russian gas in rubles. It also comes just two days after Finland formally applied to join NATO.
Russia had warned of retaliation if the traditionally neutral nation became a member of the Western military alliance.
After Finland’s application, alongside fellow Nordic nation Sweden, Moscow wasted no time in making its feelings known, with Russian President Vladimir Putin saying Monday that the expansion of NATO “is a problem.”