Estonian Prime Minister Links Balticconnector and Telecom Cable Incidents
Posted 30/10/2023 11:32
According to Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, the recent damage to the Balticconnector gas pipeline and telecom cables connecting Estonia, Finland, and Sweden are interconnected. Kallas made this assertion during a meeting with Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson in Brussels on October 26. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss safeguarding critical infrastructure in the Baltic Sea and to exchange information about the incidents involving the Balticconnector gas pipeline and the two communication cables.
The damage to the Balticconnector gas pipeline was preceded by seismic signals near the pipeline's location, suggesting a potential explosion on October 8. The event occurred close to the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, approximately 40 kilometers north of Paldiski, Estonia. The Finland National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) identified the Newnew Polar Bear vessel, under the Hong Kong flag, as the likely cause of the damage, with an anchor found a few meters away from the site of the gas pipeline damage.
Prime Minister Kallas emphasized the gravity of the damage to the submarine infrastructure in the Baltic Sea and stressed the potential connection between the Balticconnector case and the issues with the communication cables. Kallas pledged to continue working closely with Finland, Sweden, and other allies to uncover the facts surrounding these incidents.
Furthermore, Kallas highlighted the ongoing discussions on fortifying Baltic Sea security during the upcoming European Council meeting. Measures have been taken in collaboration with NATO allies to bolster security in the Baltic Sea, including the deployment of NATO ships and aircraft. The Estonian government has issued specific guidelines to ministries and has implemented additional measures to enhance security monitoring and the protection of critical infrastructure, both at sea and on land.
Kallas assured that despite these developments, there is no imminent risk to gas supply security or cross-border internet connectivity in Estonia.