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Russia Stops Gas Supplies To Finland Following Helsinki’s Refusal To Pay In Rubles, Announcement It Will Join NATO

Russia has stopped delivering natural gas to Finland after it refused to pay in rubles – and just days after it applied to join Nato

Warring president Vladimir Putin has been demanding payments in the Russian currency in a bid to ease the pressures of sanctions, which were applied by the West following his barbaric invasion of Ukraine in February. 

Russian energy giant Gazprom said it had ‘completely stopped gas deliveries’ as it had not received ruble payments from Finland’s state-owned energy company Gasum ‘by the end of the working day on May 20’.

It comes after Russia cut off its supply of electricity to the Nordic country earlier this month, while other European countries who refused to pay in rubles, including Bulgaria and Poland, had their gas supplies stopped in April. 

Finland is not overly reliant on Russian gas and only around 10 per cent of its electricity had come from its neighbour to the east, but the turning off of the taps is likely to place more pressure on the country as it seeks to join US-led Nato. 

It comes as Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has suggested equipping Moldova with Nato standard weapons in case Putin decides to extend his war. 

She accused the Russian president of wanting to create a ‘greater Russia’ and feared Moldova, south-west of Ukraine, could be Moscow’s next target. 

Warring president Vladimir Putin has been demanding payments in rubles in a bid to ease the pressures of sanctions, which were applied by the West following his barbaric invasion of Ukraine

Warring president Vladimir Putin has been demanding payments in rubles in a bid to ease the pressures of sanctions, which were applied by the West following his barbaric invasion of Ukraine

Meanwhile, Putin’s bloody assault on Ukraine continues at pace, with the desperate dictator claiming to have taken the strategic port city of Mariupol in the east of the country.      

Russia is now pressing for control of Ukraine’s Donbas region, claiming victory in the months-long battle for Mariupol’s steel plant and launching a major offensive on the remaining Ukrainian-held territory in the province of Luhansk.

The last Ukrainian forces holed up in Mariupol’s smashed Azovstal steelworks surrendered on Friday, Russia’s defense ministry said. 

‘The territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant … has been completely liberated,’ the ministry said in a statement, adding that 2,439 defenders had surrendered in the past few days, including 531 in the final group.

Ukraine’s General Staff of Armed Forces did not comment on Russia’s claim in its morning update on Saturday.

Russia also launched what appeared to be a major assault to seize the last remaining Ukrainian-held territory in Luhansk, one of two southeastern Ukrainian provinces Moscow proclaims as independent states.

Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of the Luhansk region, said in a social media post early on Saturday that Russia was trying to destroy the city of Sievierodonetsk, with fighting taking place on the outskirts of the city.

First published in Daily Mail (UK)

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