NewsA repeat of Nord Stream? Finland suspects that Russia hit the gas pipeline

A repeat of Nord Stream? Finland suspects that Russia hit the gas pipeline

Near the potential gas pipeline leak site, there are units of the Finnish coast guard.
Near the potential gas pipeline leak site, there are units of the Finnish coast guard.
Images source: © Google Maps, Wikimedia
ed. TWA
6:49 AM EDT, October 11, 2023

Finnish newspaper "Iltalehti" reported that the leakage of the Baltic Connector gas pipeline connecting Finland with Estonia, could have been due to Russian sabotage. Authorities announced that a press conference with Prime Minister Petteri Orpo will take place Tuesday afternoon.

"Iltalehti" - citing government sources - reports that Prime Minister Petteri Orpo will organize an additional press conference on the situation in terms of security, the exact topic of which remains strictly confidential and known only to the highest state leadership.

Originally, the press conference was to take place at 8:00 AM Eastern Time, but the government postponed it.

The news source indicates that "the situation is serious and the government is preparing to announce this information".

In the afternoon, a statement on this matter was issued by Sauli Niinisto, the president of Finland. "Damage to underwater infrastructure has been taken seriously and its causes have been under investigation since Sunday. The government administration has been thoroughly informed about the situation. The potential damage to both the gas pipeline and the communication cable appears to be external. The cause of the damage is not yet clear, the investigation is ongoing in cooperation with Finland and Estonia." - we read.

"We are also in constant contact with our allies and partners. I spoke today with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. NATO is ready to assist in the investigations" - added Niinisto.

The state broadcaster Yle - citing its sources - emphasizes, however, that "the explosion is not considered the cause of the damage". "The situation with the pipeline is also not considered a military crisis in Finland" - reports Yle.

Sudden drop in pressure

An unusual drop in pressure was detected in the Baltic Connector underwater gas pipeline shortly before 8 PM on Saturday night. The discovery was made by Gasgrid Finland Oy and the Estonian gas network operator Elering.

The government, announcing the Prime Minister's address, informed that the communication cable located between countries was also damaged.

Sources dealing with foreign policy and security told "Iltalehti" that "from the very beginning, the leadership of the country considered the possibility of Russia conducting a sabotage attack on the gas pipeline crossing the Gulf of Finland."

The investigation into the events at the bottom of the Gulf of Finland involves the Finnish police and border guard. However, the services refuse to comment on this matter.

NATO reacts

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has already responded to the situation with the damage to the gas pipeline in the Baltic. He assured support for the "concerned allies".

"I spoke with President Sauli Niinisto about damage to underwater infrastructure between Estonia and Finland. NATO is sharing information and is ready to support concerned allies," he shared in a tweet.

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