- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

Finland Aims to Terminate Its Dependence on Russian Energy

© Sputnik / Dmitrij Leltschuk / Go to the mediabankA Nord Stream 2 employee works on a platform in the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline's receiving station
A Nord Stream 2 employee works on a platform in the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline's receiving station - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.03.2022
Finland's aspiration to put an end to its reliance on Russian fossil fuels is clearly at odds with its ambitious climate goals, that include complete carbon neutrality by 2035.
Finland must work to end its dependence on Russian fossil fuels, Finance Minister Annika Saarikko has proclaimed.
“It's clear that we need to detach ourselves from Russian energy, but that won't happen overnight,” Saarikko explained.
Her message has been shared by a special ministerial working group which she currently chairs. The group was set up to deal with issues arising from Russia's special operation to "demilitarise and de-Nazify" Ukraine, which Finland, in line with much of the West, portrays as an “invasion”. Finland must move closer to renewable energy to end its reliance on Russian fossil fuels, the working group said.
As of now, Finland imports Russian wood chips for its district heating network, while Finnish industry uses Russian natural gas. Over the past few years, Finland has been taking strides toward “green energy” and has committed to carbon neutrality by 2035, a rather ambitious goal.
Among other steps, it has been phasing out peat as an energy source due to environmental concerns, but under the current circumstances domestic peat is now viewed as an alternative to Russian wood chips, clearly at odds with the country's environmental objectives.
However, the working group was unable to reach a consensus on how to subsidise the transport sector, which is feeling the pinch amid rising diesel and gasoline prices. Remarkably, renewable energy targets within the sector are also driving up costs, pitting economic interests against environmental aspirations.
Earlier in March, Prime Minister Sanna Marin also said Finland intends to shake off its energy dependence on Russia “as soon as possible”, citing a “shift in views” across Europe, including Germany's decision not to move forward with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
For its part, Finland has declared that the consortium Fennovoima's plans to build a nuclear power plant by in partnership with Russia's Rosatom will be put on ice.
As of now, Russian natural gas is estimated to account for six percent of Finland's energy consumption and is used by industry, not households.
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