Finland Suspects Russia of Damaging Underwater Cable and Gas Pipeline Balticconnector to Estonia
In both political and military leadership circles in Finland, there are suspicions that Russia may be behind the Sunday incident involving a gas leak in the Balticconnector pipeline, connecting the country to Estonia. The gas pipeline was damaged during the night from Saturday to Sunday, following the Hamas attack on Israel. This information was reported by the Finnish publication Iltalehti.
Correspondent Lauri Nurmi has indicated that the timing of the suspected sabotage of the gas pipeline is not coincidental. "When the conflict in the Middle East began on Saturday following the Hamas attack on Israel, Russia deliberately carried out this attack in the Baltic Sea the following night. It appears that Russia intends to provoke these two NATO countries," analysed Nurmi.
Russia's involvement is indicated by the presence of Russian vessels near the Finnish coast. Additionally, damage has been discovered in the telecommunication cable connecting Finland and Estonia.
The location of the gas pipeline damage is within Finland's economic zone, specifically in the central part of the Gulf of Finland. Technical inspections are currently underway in the area of the leak.
Finnish intelligence services consider the incident with the Balticconnector gas pipeline to be a threat to the national security of the country. The investigation is being handled by the Finnish Defence Forces.
Regarding the incident, Finland is maintaining contact with the EU and NATO.
"We are members of NATO and the EU, and we continue discussions with them. We have communication with Estonia and plan to engage with Sweden as well," said Orpo.
Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO), had a telephone conversation with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö on Tuesday in response to reports of a possible sabotage.
"I spoke with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö regarding the damage to the underwater infrastructure between Estonia and Finland. NATO is sharing information and is ready to support its allies," announced the NATO Secretary-General.
Following the conversation with Stoltenberg, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö stated that NATO is prepared to assist in the investigation of the incident.
"It is likely that the damage to both the gas pipeline and the communication cable is the result of external influence," he noted.
In response, Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Tobias Billström, stated that Sweden is ready to offer assistance to Estonia and Finland in light of the damage to the underwater cable.