The Finnish National Bureau of Investigation is investigating the role of the Chinese container ship NewNew Polar Bear, which was adjacent to the Balticconnector gas pipeline when it was damaged. This is reported by Financial Times.
The movement of the Chinese Hong Kong-registered vessel coincides with the time and location of the gas pipeline damage, investigators say.
At the same time, the Russian ship Sevmorput, operated by Atomflot, was also in the area when the Balticconnector was damaged.
Estonian investigators have said they are looking into the role of both ships, but Finland is focusing specifically on the Chinese container ship. It is unknown what caused this attention.
Officials in both countries say the pipeline and cable damage that occurred two weeks ago in the Gulf of Finland was man-made, but have not yet determined whether it was intentional or accidental.
Sweden later confirmed that a separate undersea data cable connecting it to Estonia had also been damaged around the same time.
“We will cooperate with Chinese authorities to establish the role of the vessel in question,” said senior detective Risto Lohi, who is leading the investigation in Finland. He added that police have a liaison officer in China who can deal with the matter locally.
Finnish police said they found an “extremely heavy object” while investigating the scene and would now try to lift it.
- On Sunday, October 8, due to an emergency situation stopped gas supplies via Balticconnector, an undersea gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia.
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg promised a “strong response” if a deliberate attack on the Balticconnector gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland is proven.
Read also: President of Latvia: If the Russian Federation is involved in the breakdown of Balticconnector, we will close the Baltic Sea
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