Saturday, January 6, 2024

Finland plans new ban on Russia Finland plans new ban on Russia Article by Peter Zeifert • 2 hours. Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, numerous countries around the world have imposed various sanctions against Russia and even introduced their own local restrictions against Putin's nation. Among other things, this led to Finland closing all of its borders with Russia in December and therefore not allowing anyone from Russia to enter the country. Now Finland is about to implement a new ban. According to Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, Finland plans to ban the import of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) from next year. Finnish Environment and Climate Minister Kai Mykkanen emphasized that this decision is a strategic measure, as fossil fuel profits make up a significant part of the Russian economy and indirectly finance the war against Ukraine. New EU proposal offers solution This announcement follows the European Union's decision in December allowing member countries to effectively ban Russian LNG shipments. However, the EU has not yet sanctioned Russian LNG, and record volumes were purchased from Russia in 2023. Freezing cold in Sweden and Russia The Finnish minister acknowledged potential challenges posed by long-term contracts between European and Russian companies. The new EU proposal offers a solution that allows Russian and Belarusian companies to be banned from buying capacity in European gas pipelines and LNG terminals. This regulation allows European energy companies to terminate contracts with Russian suppliers without incurring cancellation fees. The United Kingdom, Latvia and Lithuania have already stopped buying Russian LNG, setting a precedent for other European countries. Mykkanen expressed hope that Finland will implement the ban effectively next year. This decision comes in a context where Russia delivered almost 16 million tons of LNG to Europe last year, underlining the significant role of Russian energy sources in the European market.