Russian energy company Inter RAO cut off power to Finland through its subsidiary RAO Nordic Oy at dawn this Saturday, citing “problems with accepting payments for electricity sold,” Finnish grid operator Fingrid said.
RAO Nordic Oy warned on Friday that it is “forced to suspend electricity imports from May 14” as tensions between Russia and Finland rise after the latter’s announcement that it may request its entry into NATO following a Russian invasion. Ukraine.
RAO Nordic Oy said it “has been importing electricity from Russia to Finland for many years and selling it on the Nord Pool exchange,” noting that sales made since May 6 have not yet been credited to its bank account.
Russian President Vladimir Putin today warned his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistö that the Scandinavian country’s refusal of neutrality and joining NATO would be the “wrong” decision.
“Putin emphasized that it would be wrong to abandon the traditional policy of military neutrality, since there is no threat to the security of Finland,” the Kremlin said in a statement. He stressed that such a change in Helsinki’s foreign policy “could have a negative impact on Russian-Finnish relations, which for many years were characterized by the spirit of good neighborliness and cooperation between partners and were mutually beneficial.” A “special military operation” in Ukraine, Putin demanded that NATO stop expanding into Eastern Europe and withdraw the military infrastructure of countries that joined the bloc after 1997.
Russia considers Finland’s accession to NATO a threat to its security, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. “Absolutely,” Peskov said in a telephone press conference when asked about it. Moscow will be forced to respond, the Russian Foreign Ministry added.
According to the Kremlin, the expansion of the Western military bloc will not make Europe and the world more stable. “The new expansion of NATO does not make our continent more stable or more secure,” he stressed.
Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albarez confirmed this Saturday Spain’s support for Ukraine, as well as support for Finland’s candidacy for NATO membership, as well as Sweden’s if it becomes official.
“The first thing I did was to meet Ukrainian Minister Dmytro Kuleba, where I once again conveyed to him, the people of Ukraine, its government, that I support a free, sovereign and independent Ukraine so that it survives,” he said. Albarez at the entrance to the meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin
“We exchanged views on the general situation in Europe, on Ukraine’s position in Europe and on what the NATO summit in Madrid will be like,” he added. Albarez then recalled that Sweden and Finland are also participating in the Berlin meeting as guests, and expressed support for the possible entry of the two countries into the alliance.
The main Russian electricity company, Inter RAO, suspended electricity supplies to Finland this Saturday due to the problem of non-payment for electricity already transferred.
Finnish electricity grid operator Fingrid Oyj already announced on Friday that Inter RAO’s Finnish subsidiary RAO Nordic would suspend power supplies at 01:00 Saturday.
“The direct or bilateral sale of electricity imported from Russia will be suspended the sale of electricity imported from Russia until further notice due to problems with accepting payments for electricity sold on the market, according to RAO Nordic,” the Russian company said in a statement. . collected by the Russian news agency TASS.
The UN Human Rights Council yesterday overwhelmingly approved the creation of an international commission to investigate alleged human rights violations by Russian forces in Ukraine. Having met at an extraordinary session in Geneva at the request of Kyiv, the body approved the measure with 33 votes in favor, two against – China and Eritrea – and 12 abstentions. In April, Russia’s membership in this council was suspended.
“Torture and enforced disappearances, sexual and gender-based violence, the list of Russian crimes is endless,” Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Yaparova condemned via videoconference, assuring that half a million Ukrainian civilians have been deported to Russia and are in danger, whereabouts unknown.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky received this Saturday in Kyiv a group of US senators led by the press secretary of the Republican Party in the Upper House, Mitch McConnell.
Zelenskiy posted on his Instagram account about the visit, which is “a strong signal of bipartisan support for Ukraine by the US Congress and the American people.”
“Thank you for your leadership and for helping us in our struggle not only for our country, but also for democratic values and freedoms. We really appreciate it,” the Ukrainian president added.
The Czech authorities opened the first refugee camp this Saturday with tents for displaced Ukrainians after running out of places intended for reception and with no indication that the departure of civilians from Ukraine would stop.
The field is located in the Troja district of the Czech capital of Prague and can accommodate 150 people. The aim is to reduce the saturation of the main railway station in the city.
Humanitarian organizations have been deploring for days now the poor conditions in which refugees are forced to sleep in the corridors of the station and the lack of alternatives to these accommodations.
A municipal official from the city council of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, besieged by Russian troops, has warned that Moscow is already preparing to hold a referendum on the annexation of the city, similar to that announced for the Georgian region of South Ossetia.
An adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, Petr Andryushchenko, said from exile that his sources in what was left of the city after weeks of fighting believe they are already preparing a vote, despite the fact that the population is left without food and water. reports the British newspaper The Guardian.
The city of Mariupol had about 400,000 inhabitants, but now there are only about 2,000 Ukrainian fighters who are resisting a Russian offensive at the Azovstal steel plant, in the city’s port.
The Russian army has withdrawn from its positions near Kharkov, abandoning the assault on the second largest city in Ukraine, but continues to try to advance towards the Donbass from the north, although so far without much success.
“In Kharkov, the enemy did not conduct active hostilities. He focused his efforts on ensuring the withdrawal of his troops from the city, maintaining (…) supply routes, ”the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported.
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