“Heavy object” next to a damaged gas pipeline. An investigation is underway

"Heavy object" next to a damaged gas pipeline.  An investigation is underway

A “heavy object” was found near the damaged Balticconnector gas pipeline connecting Finland with Latvia. An investigation into possible sabotage is ongoing, focusing on the role of the Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship.

During underwater research carried out at the site of the Balticconnector gas pipeline failure, an item was found that could have had something to do with the damage to the installation. “At the bottom of the sea, near the site of damage to the gas pipeline, a heavy object is buried under a thick layer of mud. We will check what it is and whether it could have caused damage to the pipeline,” said the Central Bureau of Criminal Police, which is investigating the case, in a statement.

Gas pipeline investigation

The services inform that an investigation into the gas pipeline failure is ongoing, focusing on the ship sailing through the Gulf of Finland at the time of the failure. According to the Estonian daily Postimees, the freighter slowed down as it approached the underwater pipeline.

“If it turns out that Russia is behind the damage to the Balticconnector gas pipeline, NATO should consider closing navigation in the Baltic Sea to protect critical infrastructure,” said Latvian President Edgars Rinkeviczs on Friday.

Gas pipeline failure

The Balticconnector connection was closed early Sunday amid fears of a gas leak in the 77-kilometer pipeline. Finnish operator Gasgrid said repairs could take months or longer. A fault was also detected in a telecommunications cable between Finland and Estonia.

This is another recent failure of the international gas transmission installation. A year has passed since the leak in the Nord Stream gas pipelines. Let us recall: first, on the eve of the opening of the Baltic Pipe, there was a leak from Nord Stream 2. In turn, on the day of the symbolic launch of the Polish gas pipeline, two more leaks were reported – this time they concerned the lines of Nord Stream 1. Underwater explosions were recorded in the places of damage.

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