The Finnish National Bureau of Investigation is investigating the possibility of a Chinese sabotage of the Baltic Connector Pipeline between Sweden and Finland.
The role of a Chinese ship is being investigated in relation to the broken gas pipeline that connects Finland to the rest of Europe, the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation said late Friday.
“The movements of the vessel Newnew Polar Bear flying the flag of Hong Kong coincide with the time and place of the gas pipeline damage,” the investigators said in a statement. “For this reason, the investigation is now focused on the role of the said vessel.”
The operator of Finland’s gas grid, Gasgrid, reported that the 77-kilometer Balticconnector pipeline was leaking, and it was shut off last week. This pipeline is essential to ensuring Finland’s energy security.
Prime Minister Petteri Orpo noted that the leak was “not exactly the act of an ordinary person” and that Finnish officials had promptly raised the possibility that the pipes had been damaged.
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Detective Superintendent Risto Lohi, the principal investigator, stated on Friday that there was “no reason to believe the damage had been caused by an explosion” but that the damage to the Finnish pipeline had “been caused by an external mechanical force.”
In order to “establish the role” of the Chinese warship, Lohi continued, Finland would “cooperate with Chinese authorities.”