Finland can't rule out 'state actor' involvement in pipeline damage

Finland can't rule out 'state actor' involvement in pipeline damage
Finland can't rule out 'state actor' involvement in pipeline damage

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - The picture provided by The Finnish Border Guard shows Finnish Border Guard's offshore patrol vessel Turva guarding on October 11, 2023 at sea near the place where damaged Balticconnector gas pipeline is pinpointed at the Gulf of Finland. — Finnish Border Guard via Reuters

OCT 12 — Finland can't rule out the possibility that a "state actor" was involved in damaging a Baltic Sea gas pipeline and a parallel telecoms cable, the Finnish Security Intelligence Service said today as Nato ministers sat down to talks on the incident.

Damage to the Balticconnector pipeline and a telecommunications cable was confirmed on Tuesday after one of the two pipeline operators, Finland's Gasgrid, noted a drop in pressure and possible leak on Sunday night during a storm.

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Finland, which is investigating, has said the damage was probably caused by "outside activity", renewing concern over regional energy security and pushing gas prices higher just over a year after the dramatic Nord Stream pipeline bombings.

"Involvement of a state actor in this job cannot be ruled out," Finnish Security Intelligence Service Director Antti Pelttari told reporters.

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"Who is behind this is a matter for the preliminary investigation. We do not comment on it in more detail," he added.

Finnish authorities said on Wednesday that "external marks" had been found on the seabed beside the damaged pipeline and that it was reviewing vessel traffic in the area at the time of the rupture.

A chief investigator also said that it currently looked like the damage was caused by "mechanical force", not an explosion.

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Nato defence ministers are due to discuss the damage on Thursday when they gather for a second day of meetings in Brussels. Allies, including the United States, have already expressed support for Finland and Estonia. — Reuters

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