Estonia Says Three Damaged Baltic Pipelines 'Related'
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has claimed that three incidents resulting in damage to a gas pipeline and two telecom cables between Estonia, Finland, and Sweden 'are related.' One of the incidents, which could leave the Balticconnector Finland-Estonia pipeline out of commission until at lea...
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has claimed that three incidents resulting in damage to a gas pipeline and two telecom cables between Estonia, Finland, and Sweden 'are related.' One of the incidents, which could leave the Balticconnector Finland-Estonia pipeline out of commission until at least April, prompted Finland to raise its risk assessment for gas supply security on Friday.1
The ruptured underwater lines occurred earlier this month, with Finnish authorities this week saying they suspect the culprit to be a Chinese vessel called Newnew Polar Bear after an initial probe discovered an anchor — which is thought to have caused the damage — on the floor of the Baltic Sea.2
According to Reuters — which cited ship-tracking and maritime analytics provider MarineTraffic — both the Newnew Polar Bear and a Russian boat called Sevmorput were sailing in the area around the time of the incident. It said the Newnew Polar Bear sailed over the telecom cables for 82 miles before reaching the damage site, then another 20 miles after.1
While NATO has since increased its surveillance of the Baltic Sea and Norway's navy has monitored the Newnew Polar Bear, China has said that it would comply with the investigation as required by international law.3
Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, who met with his Swedish and Estonian counterparts on Thursday to discuss the matter, said Finland is coordinating with China in the probe, as well as asked the EU to help subsidize repairs for the Balticconnector.2
Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Newsweek. While it's true that no one knows the cause yet, there's a reason investigators have so far pointed to a Chinese ship as a suspect. Not only did they find evidence of an anchor — thought to be the Newnew Polar Bear's — being dragged across the pipeline, but China, as well as Russia, would have had an incentive to disrupt a European gas supply line. As energy sources become an increasingly important factor in global issues, it's justifiable to point to these countries.
Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Euronews. First of all, no evidence has been found linking any Russian vessels to this incident, which is why Moscow has denied any involvement in the matter. And even though these investigators claim they found evidence of an anchor, the truth is that no abnormalities due to poor sea conditions were found that would suggest the boat was conducting unusual activities. While an investigation must be conducted, it must also be done objectively.