Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, many countries around the globe have implemented various sanctions against Russia, and have even introduced their own local restrictions against Putin's nation.
This led, among other things, to Finland closing all its borders to Russia in December, preventing anyone from Russia from entering the country, and now Finland is on the verge of implementing a new ban.
According to the Finnish newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, Finland has announced plans to prohibit the import of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) starting from next year. Finnish Environment and Climate Minister Kai Mykkanen highlighted the move as a strategic decision, given that fossil fuel profits substantially contribute to Russia's economy, indirectly funding its war against Ukraine.
New EU proposal offers a 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 amounts were purchased from Russia in 2023.
Addressing potential challenges, the Finnish minister acknowledged the existence of long-term contracts between European and Russian companies.
The new EU proposal offers a solution, allowing a ban on Russian and Belarusian companies from buying capacities in European gas pipelines and LNG terminals.
This provision enables European energy firms to terminate contracts with Russian suppliers without incurring cancellation fees. The U.K., Latvia, and Lithuania have already ceased purchasing LNG from Russia, setting a precedent for other European nations. Mykkanen expressed hope that Finland would implement the ban effectively next year.
This decision comes in a context where Russia delivered nearly 16 million tons of LNG to Europe last year, underscoring the significant role Russian energy resources play in the European market.