External actor likely in Finland-Estonia gas pipeline damage

0 2

The damage to the Baltic Connector gas pipeline and a data cable between Finland and Estonia was likely caused by an external actor, not caused by the normal gas transmission process, according to the expert assessment.

Based on information from the Finnish Border Guard, the state-owned company and transmission system operator, Gasgrid Finland also said that the breach is located in Finland’s economic zone, said a government press release on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, President Sauli Niinistö in a statement said that the damage to the underwater infrastructure has been taken seriously and its causes have been investigated since Sunday. The political leadership has been closely informed of the situation.

“It is likely that the damage to both the gas pipeline and the data cable is caused by external activity. What specifically caused the damage is not yet known,” said Niinistö in the statement issued by the President Office on Tuesday.

The President discussed the issue with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Stoltenberg assured NATO´s readiness to assist with the investigation.

“The investigation will continue in cooperation between Finland and Estonia. We are also in constant contact with our allies and partners. I discussed with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg today (Tuesday). NATO is ready to assist with the investigation,” said Niinistö.

Finland's level of preparedness is good, said the President, adding that the events did not impact on Finland’s security of supply.

“Spoke with President Sauli Niinistö on damage to undersea infrastructure between Estonia and Finland. NATO is sharing information and stands ready to support Allies concerned,” the NATO Secretary General wrote in his twitter on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo also said on Tuesday that damage to the Baltic Connector gas pipeline and a data cable between Finland and Estonia was likely caused by an external actor.

The damage led to the gas pipeline's closure due to a pressure drop which indicated a leak, and appeared to be a problem outside normal operational issues, reported news agency Xinhua, quoting Orpo as saying.

During a government press conference, Orpo emphasized that the investigation is in its early stages.

He did not name specific foreign countries as potential actors, citing the critical political and security policy situation.

After ending land-based pipeline imports of Russian natural gas in 2022, Finland has transitioned to importing natural gas via LNG ships, and via the Baltic Connector pipeline.

Natural gas accounts for approximately 5 percent of Finland's energy consumption, primarily used in industries, heating, and electricity generation. However, domestic heating with natural gas is relatively uncommon in Finland.

The damaged data cable belongs to Finnish telecommunications company Elisa, but services have been unaffected by the damage, according to Eija Kivekas, director of the Finnish transport and communications agency Traficom, Xinhua added.

The natural gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia remained closed since Sunday afternoon following a suspected leak.

On the same day, the Finnish authorities were also informed of a fault detected in the telecommunications cable between Finland and Estonia.

Damage to the cable does not affect Finland's critical telecommunications connections and they operate normally.

Critical connections have been secured through several different arrangements, and Finland has security of supply measures in place to deal with any damage to underwater infrastructure.

Gasgrid estimates that it will take months to repair the gas pipeline.

Led by Finnish National Bureau of Investigation, the authorities in Finland have launched an investigation into the matter.

In terms of security of supply, the situation remains stable. Due to changes in the security environment, special attention has been paid to protecting critical infrastructure.

Depending on the exact location of the fault, the investigation will be led by the Finnish or Estonian authorities who will be working closely together.

It is very likely that the fault is located in Estonia's exclusive economic zone. The Estonian Navy, which is currently in charge of investigating the incident, has not yet been able to confirm the matter.

  •  Finland
  •  Estonia
  •  Gas
  •  Pipeline
  •  Damage

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.