Over the weekend, a gas leak was detected in a gas pipeline in the Gulf of Finland. Finnish authorities confirm that the pipeline has been sabotaged and an investigation has been initiated to determine what happened.
On the night of Sunday, a significant pressure drop was noticed in the Balticconnector gas pipeline, which runs between Finland and Estonia. It was soon established that there was a leak in the pipeline within Finland’s economic zone.
On Tuesday, the government announced that the pipeline was deliberately sabotaged.
– The damage observed in the initial phase of the investigation could not have occurred through normal changes in the pipeline or pressure changes. It’s likely that the leak is a result of external interference, said Prime Minister Petteri Orpo during a press conference.
Additionally, a data cable in Estonia’s economic zone was reportedly damaged at the same time.
Record gas prices
In Finland, natural gas accounts for about five percent of the energy supply, but Orpo states that the damage will not “paralyze” the country.
However, gas prices in Europe have already risen and are now at a record high, reports Omni. For example, spot prices in the Netherlands increased by 14 percent on Tuesday afternoon, reaching around 48.85 euros per megawatt-hour.
Orpo does not want to point fingers at any suspects for the sabotage, emphasizing that no premature conclusions should be drawn.
– It’s essential that the case is thoroughly investigated and that we avoid jumping to conclusions at this stage.
Similarities with Nord Stream
Under the leadership of the central criminal police, Finnish authorities have initiated an investigation to clarify what happened.
Last year, the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines were sabotaged in Swedish and Danish economic zones. Russia was quickly blamed, but investigations from Germany, among others, could not confirm those accusations.
The award-winning journalist Seymour Hersh instead pointed to the USA and Norway as being responsible for the explosions.