Russia has cut off the flow of gas to Finland after the Scandinavian country approved its application to the NATO alliance, a move that would put another Western ally directly at Russia’s borders, Reuters reports.
The Russian state gas company Gazprom says it cut gas delivery to Finland because Finland refuses to pay in rubles, a requirement the Kremlin has put in place for exports to bolster the Russian economy. Last month, Russia cut off Poland and Romania for the same reason, and other European nations have voluntarily cut off Russian energy supplies as punishment for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The move comes as the Kremlin refocuses its efforts in Ukraine from a broad plan to take over the country to concentrating on the eastern Donbas region. The military effort in Ukraine has largely been unsuccessful, with the Ukrainian military–backed by arms and intelligence from Western nations–have stymied Russian advances.