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Finland's Gasum refusing to pay Gazprom in rubles

The state-owned firm says it has prepared for the possibility of being cut off from Russian gas supplies.

Gasum plant in Räikkölä, Imatra, photographed on 12 May 2022. Image: Lehtikuva

Finnish state-owned gas company Gasum announced on Tuesday it is refusing to pay gas firm Gazprom Export in rubles as required by the Russian company.

In a statement, Gasum said it received a letter from Gazprom Export in April which outlined that payments should be made in rubles rather than euros. Gasum also said that there are other "significant" issues of dispute surrounding other claims under the contract agreement between the two companies.

The firm's CEO, Mika Wiljanen, said that it aims to settle the disputed issues in arbitration.

"In this situation, Gasum had no choice but to take the contract to arbitration. In this challenging situation, we will do our utmost to be able to supply our Finnish customers with the energy they need," Wiljanen said in the statement.

File photo of a Gasum LNG filling station in Turku. Image: Gasum.

Finland's natural gas imports from Russia rose by 282 percent in value year-on-year in March, the month after Russia attacked Ukraine, according to Finnish Customs figures.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) has said that Finland needs to wean itself off Russian gas as soon as possible.

Gasum said that it has been preparing with customers and Finnish authorities for the possibility of being cut off from Russian gas.

The company said it plans to ensure the availability of natural gas via the Balticconnector gas pipeline, but noted that delivery capacity constraints could make such efforts challenging.

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