HomeWorldFinland investigates pipeline damage, attributing it to China ship incident, according to...

Finland investigates pipeline damage, attributing it to China ship incident, according to Reuters.

The Investigation into Damage to Balticonnector Gas Pipeline Focuses on Chinese Ship

Chinese Ship Under Investigation

An investigation is currently underway to determine the cause of the damage to the Balticonnector gas pipeline, with the focus on the Chinese NewNew Polar Bear container vessel. Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) revealed that the movements of the vessel coincide with the time and location of the gas pipeline damage. As a result, the investigation is now centered on the role of the Chinese ship.

Damage to Gas Pipeline and Telecoms Cable

On October 8th, a gas pipeline and a telecoms cable connecting Finland and Estonia were broken, leading Finnish investigators to suspect sabotage. However, it is yet to be determined whether the damage was accidental or intentional. Sweden also reported damage to a third link connecting Stockholm to Tallinn around the same time.

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Two Ships Under Investigation

Following Finland’s NBI statement, Estonian investigators, who are also looking into the telecoms cable incidents, are focusing on two ships: the NewNew Polar Bear and Russia’s Sevmorput. These were the only vessels present at all three incident sites during the approximate time of the damage, according to vessel tracking data.

Investigating the Damage

Finland’s NBI confirmed that the damage was caused by an external mechanical force and not an explosion. They discovered a heavy object on the seabed near the pipeline damage and are investigating its potential connection to the incident. Efforts will be made to lift the object from the sea for further examination.

Foreign Ministry’s Involvement

Finland’s foreign ministry has contacted China and Russia through diplomatic channels regarding the investigation. They have sought China’s assistance in reaching out to the NewNew Polar Bear and informed Russia of the seriousness of the matter. The incidents have raised concerns about the security of energy supplies in the Nordic region, leading NATO to increase patrols in the Baltic Sea.

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Rosatom Denies Involvement

Russia’s Rosatom, the operator of the Sevmorput, has categorically denied any connection to the pipeline damage. They stated that the ship passed through the Gulf of Finland without stopping or slowing down and the crew did not observe anything unusual or suspicious.

Condensed and rewritten for enhanced readability and clarity.

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