Finland Claims Baltic Sea Gas Pipeline Broken By Ship Dragging Anchor

Police have earlier said that the impairment to the Baltic connector subsea gas pipeline, as well as two Baltic Sea telecom cables, was brought about by an external mechanical force and were examining whether this is a case of sabotage or an accident.

Broad drag marks were noticed on the seabed that led up to where the pipeline had been broken, and the anchor was lying right after the damaged spot. A much narrower path was noticed on the seabed, spanning dozens of miles, the police mentioned.

Baltic Sea Gas Pipeline
Representation Image

A piece of the ship’s anchor, one of the two spikes, had reportedly broken off, they mentioned.

The next set of questions regarding whether it was intentional, negligence or inadequate seamanship is where it can be understood if there can be a motive for what has been going on, the chief of the National Bureau of Investigation (abbreviated the NBI), Robin Lardot, reported at a press meet.

He said that it was too soon to answer that at this point, he mentioned.

On Friday, the NBI said that they were focusing the probe on China’s NewNew Polar Bear vessel that had sailed above the pipeline and the cables at the time of the damage.

On Tuesday, the NBI said that they had established that the container vessel NewNew Polar Bear was missing one of the front anchors and also said that they had unsuccessfully tried getting in touch with the vessel to ask if this was the one that was retrieved in the waters of the Gulf of Finland.

On Monday, China called for an objective, professional, and fair investigation into the pipeline impairment.

The incident further cut pipeline gas supplies to Finland, even though the nation expects to manage the imports of liquefied natural gas via vessel deliveries to Inkoo port.

Due to the damage, NATO stepped up its patrols in the waters of the Baltic Sea.

In September last year, the larger Nord Stream pipelines joining Russia and Germany were impaired by the explosions that relevant authorities have mentioned were acts of sabotage, even though it is unclear who had been behind the attack.

References: Reuters, The Print, The Guardian

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