Russia cuts gas to Finland: the consequences of the war in Ukraine are spreading

 Russia cuts gas to Finland: the consequences of the war in Ukraine are spreading

Russia to cut off natural gas supply to Finland on Saturday, according to the Finnish state energy provider, amid a growing confrontation between the two countries over the war in Ukraine.

Russia said on Friday it was suspending supply because Finland had not complied with its demand to make payments in rubles. Finland also submitted an application to join NATO, which angered Russiaand last weekend Moscow suspended electricity exports to its Nordic neighbor as Finnish goals in joining the military alliance became clear.

The Finnish company, Gasum, called the move by Russian gas giant Gazprom “Very unfortunate”and said in a statement that it would supply customers through other sources and that I didn’t expect any interruptions.

The Finnish Gasum Plant in Raikkola, Imatra, Finland.  Photo: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva / AFP

The Finnish Gasum Plant in Raikkola, Imatra, Finland. Photo: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva / AFP

The geopolitical fallout from the war was further extended on Friday when state-controlled Russian oil giant Rosneft announced that Gerhard Schröder, the former chancellor of Germany, would step down as chairman of the boardaccording to the Interfax news agency.

Schröder he is a personal friend of President Vladimir Putin from Russia and has been criticized for maintaining the relationship even as Russia wages its brutal war.

Germany’s parliamentary budget committee voted on Thursday to strip the former leader of privileges worth more than 400,000 euros after he refused to distance himself from Putin and renounce his ties to Russian energy companies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin.  Photo: AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: AP

Military service without age limit

Under pressure to achieve battlefield victories and shore up its forces for an intensifying battle in the east, Russia moved Friday toward removal of age limits for military service, an apparent effort to expand the pool of potential recruits.

An amendment introduced by leading lawmakers in the Russian parliament would allow Russians over 40 years old sign military service contracts for the first time. Under current law, Russian citizens must be between the ages of 18 and 40 to sign a contract for the first time.

Experts say that Russia has shortage of manpower and is under pressure after a series of humiliating setbacks by trying to capture the Ukrainian capital, kyiv, and more recently by being pushed out of the country’s second largest city, Kharkov.

But Putin has resisted ordering a large-scale military draft, apparently for fear of an internal reactionand instead is stepping up recruitment.

On the eastern battlefield, a week-long fighting around the city of Sievierodonetsk intensified on the last day, according to Ukrainian civilian and military officials.

other events

– The Ukrainian Foreign Minister criticized what he called a lack of NATO support since Russia began its invasion three months ago, but acknowledged that his country had received support from individual NATO countries.

– The Group of 7 economic powers (G-7) agreed on Friday provide nearly $ 20 billion to support Ukraine’s economy for the next few months to help keep the country’s government running as it fights to repel the Russian invasion.

– Turkey will continue to talk to European leaders, but still opposes NATO offers of Finland and Sweden, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday after a phone call with Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands. It is unclear whether Erdogan is simply seeking concessions from NATO allies.

– Since Russia captured the sprawling Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol on Tuesday, more than 1,700 fighters have surrendered, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The Kremlin has used his surrender for propaganda purposes.

c.2022 The New York Times Company


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