Finland believes Russia involved in vague BalticConnector gas pipeline accident

Finland has not exposed evidence of damage to the BalticConnector gas pipeline, but a version of Russia's involvement in the "sabotage” is being discussed.

On the night of October 8 in Finland and Estonia, BalticConnector gas pipeline operators reported that they had to shut off the system after an unexpected drop in pressure was detected in it. The announcement came only three days later, on October 10. It was also said that the Internet cable was damaged as well.

The accident site is allegedly located in Finnish waters. It is mostly Finnish officials that discuss the accident.

"It is likely that both the gas pipeline and the communication cable were damaged as a result of the external impact,” Finland's President Sauli Niinistö said.

Finnish anonymous sources expanded on this version claiming that it was Russia that took revenge for Finland's entry into NATO. However, Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said that the Finnish authorities were not in a rush to draw far-reaching conclusions.

Norwegian seismologists joined in and announced that they had detected a probable "explosion” on October 8 in the area of the gas pipeline. It was magnitude one explosion, they estimated. However, their Finnish colleagues warned that it could be a landslide or an earthquake.

"It was a very dark and stormy night at the time. That's why the background noise level was higher than usual, which makes it difficult to analyse the situation," a spokeswoman for the Finnish service said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO's response would be decisive should the deliberate attack on the critical infrastructure of Finland and Estonia is confirmed.

It just so happens that the emotional indignation about the BalticConnector accident emerged in Western media only on October 10. The culprit was found immediately. This can not but raise suspicion about the objectivity of assessments and the extreme nervous exhaustion of the West.

More plausible versions began to appear In the absence of any reaction from Russia. On Wednesday, October 11, Jukka Savolainen, Director of the Community of Interest on Vulnerabilities and Resilience at Hybrid CoE, suggested that the gas pipeline could have been damaged by the anchor of a ship during a storm.

"The storm wind caused the ship drag its anchor over the pipeline,” Savolainen said.

It appears that the gas line was only ruptured on one side.

"It was like a garden hose that stuck between your feet and you were dragging it along with you," the official suggested.

There is no point in blaming Russia until it is established whether it was a ship and whether it was linked with Russia, Savolainen added.

Strange as it may seem, but such a Russian vessel was found immediately. Iltalehti publication wrote with reference to Myshiptracking service Russia's SVG Flot tanker was traveling in the area of the accident at a suspiciously low speed of about 1.8 kilometres per hour. Apparently, the authors of the idea forgot about the storm. To crown it all, Finnish media uncovered the connection between the owner of the ship "and Vladimir Putin's inner circle.” Just like Jukka Savolainen earlier suggested.

Finnish experts say that the damage to the gas pipeline will not affect gas supplies to Finland.

"It is unlikely that Russia will try to physically disable Finland's infrastructure in the future,” expert Suvi Alvari said.

Why should Russia try to do it now? They apparently want to distract public attention from the explosions of the Nord Stream pipelines because it was the USA that took them out.

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Author`s name Lyuba Lulko
Editor Dmitry Sudakov