STOCKHOLM: Estonia says damage to Baltic Sea communication cables between Sweden and Estonia is linked to damage to pipelines and cables between Estonia and Finland. The Swedish government said it believed it was related to the injury. and Monday.
On October 8, an undersea gas pipeline and communications cable connecting Finland and Estonia was damaged, leading Finnish investigators to believe it may have been a deliberate sabotage. Helsinki is investigating the pipeline case, while Tallinn is working on the cable case.
Last week, Sweden announced that her third link was damaged at about the same time as her other two.
“It has been confirmed that the cable was damaged by external force or manipulation,” Civil Defense Minister Karl-Oskar Bolin said in a statement.
Bohlin added that Estonia had found that “damage to gas pipelines and communication cables between Finland and Estonia is related to damage to communication cables between Sweden and Estonia.”
The government provided no further information about what might link the two incidents.
Estonia said that damage to the connection between Finland and Estonia was determined to have been caused by human activities, but it was too early to draw conclusions.
“If it is proven through procedural measures that the damage to the communication cables between Estonia and Sweden was also caused by human acts, we will expand the ongoing criminal case to clarify these circumstances as well.” Estonian prosecutor Toriinu Olef said.
NATO has announced it will step up patrols in the Baltic Sea following an incident that raised concerns about the security of energy supplies across the Nordic region.
The government announced that NATO has deployed demining vessels and increased air surveillance.
Finnish investigators said the damage discovered this month may have been sabotage. However, it is still unclear whether this was an accident or an intentional act.
The investigation into damage to the Baltic Connector gas pipeline and nearby cables is now focused on the role of the Chinese container ship Nunu Polar Bear, Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) announced.
On Monday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the Chinese ship was sailing normally in the area at the time and called for an “objective, fair and professional” investigation into the damage. Estonian investigators investigating the
communications cable incident said they were continuing to monitor two vessels, the New New Polar Bear and the Russian Sevmolput.
Russia has repeatedly denied involvement in the damage. In 2022, the main Nord Stream gas pipeline across the Baltic Sea between Russia and Germany is damaged by an explosion, with authorities saying it was deliberate sabotage, but not sure who was behind the attack. It is still unclear who was there.