Leading expert of the National Energy Security Fund and the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, Stanislav Mitrakhovich, spoke on May 20 in an interview with Izvestia about the consequences that Finland will face after the cessation of gas supplies from Russia.
The expert said that the Baltic countries say that they can take gas from the reserves of the Inčukalns gas storage facility in Latvia. Finland, he said, is also among them.
“And Finland will also be transferred. The connector is already there. Another thing is that the gas storage will then need to be filled again – this is a temporary solution, ”said Mitrakhovich.
The expert pointed out that the Baltic countries also refer to the fact that there is a Klaipeda LNG terminal.
“The trick is that, firstly, Russian gas from Yamal LNG can also enter there, so when they say they have stopped Russian gas supplies or will stop, they usually talk about pipeline gas. And LNG pretends that the gas from Yamal LNG is not Russian. Although this is a Russian project. Well, probably, theoretically, the Klaipeda terminal can come to another LNG, in addition to Yamal LNG,” he explained.
Despite all of the above, the expert stressed that countries are at great risk.
“If direct deliveries stop not only to Finland, but also to other neighboring countries, and to Europe in general, then there will be many problems. Well, if only Finland does not receive directly, well, and those Baltic countries that refuse, then, in principle, one can live off the reserves of the Inchukalns gas storage facility for some time, ”added Mitrahovich.
However, even in this case, after some time, Finland will have to make a further decision.
“Either sharply increase purchases to the Klaipeda terminal, which costs money, or negotiate with Russia to resume supplies. Or turn off your industry, which is also an option, ”concluded the expert.
Earlier on Friday, Gazprom Export confirmed the cessation of gas supplies to Finland since the morning of May 21 due to non-payment by the Finnish gas company Gasum. They noted that gas supplies would be suspended “until payment is made in accordance with the procedure established by the decree.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the refusal of the Finnish supplier Gasum to pay for Russian gas in rubles, said that Russia would not supply gas for free.
On May 18, Gasum announced that it had not accepted the demand of the Russian side to switch to a new gas payment system in rubles. In this regard, the company warned that it expects gas supplies to stop.
On March 23, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the country would switch to paying for gas supplies to unfriendly states in rubles. On March 31, a corresponding decree was signed, after which the buyers had to open ruble accounts from which gas payments would be made. However, some Western countries have stated that they are not going to follow this requirement.