Russian gas supplies to Finland stopped by Moscow

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Russian gas supplies to Finland stopped by Moscow

OSLO Reuters -- Russia's Gazprom stopped gas exports to neighbouring Finland, the Finnish gas system operator said, the latest escalation of an energy payments dispute with Western nations.

Gazprom Export has demanded that European countries pay for Russian gas supplies in roubles because of sanctions imposed over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, but Finland refuses to do so.

Gasgrid Finland said in a statement that gas imports through Imatra entry point have been stopped.

Imatra is the entry point for Russian gas into Finland.

Gasum, a Finnish state-owned gas wholesaler, said on Friday that Gazprom had warned that flows would be stopped from 0400 GMT on Saturday morning.

Gasum also confirmed on Saturday that the flows stopped.

Natural gas supplies to Finland have been cut off because of Gasum's supply contract.

Gazprom Export said flows would be cut because Gasum had not complied with the new Russian rules requiring settlement in roubles.

Gas used in Finland comes from Russia but only accounts for about 5% of its annual energy consumption.

Most European supply contracts are denominated in euros or dollars and Moscow cut off gas to Bulgaria and Poland last month after they refused to comply with the new payment terms.

Gasum, the Finnish government and individual gas consuming companies in Finland have said they are prepared for a shutdown of Russian flows and that the country will manage without.

Finland has agreed to charter a storage and re-sale vessel from U.S. based Excelerate Energy to help replace Russian supplies starting in the fourth quarter of this year.

The vessel turns supercooled, liquefied natural gas LNG which arrives on ships, back into regular gas.