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Investigation under way into potential sabotage of Balticconnector pipeline

Finnish Navy's mine-countermeasures vessel Purunpää is pictured near the location of the damaged Balticconnector gas pipeline in the Gulf of Finland. (Finnish Defence Forces)

Finland's Central Criminal Police (CKP) has launched a preliminary investigation into “possible intentional damage” to the Balticconnector undersea gas pipeline and telecommunications cable that connects Finland and Estonia.

Finnish authorities confirmed on 10 October that a sudden drop in pressure in the pipeline that occurred during a storm on 9 October was caused by damage that was likely the result of external activity.

In an 11 October announcement the CKP said the initial classification of its investigation was “gross sabotage”.

“Yesterday [on 10 October] the Central Criminal Police began technical investigations into the leak and its surroundings [in the Finnish economic zone]. At the same time, evidence was secured,” it said. “CKP has sent a European investigation order to the Estonian authorities and intensive preliminary investigation co-operation has begun. Estonian authorities are investigating damage to a telecommunications cable that occurred around the same time [which] the authorities suspect … is in the Estonian economic zone.”

The preliminary review remains focussed on the technical examination of the damage at the scene of the incident to ascertain whether the damage was caused by an external act and whether or not it was intentional. While the review and analysis of the material has only just started, the CKP said that traces in the seabed had been found near the place where the gas pipeline is leaking.

The Finnish Defences Forces said it is providing assistance to the authorities and posted images on its official X social media account on 11 October of Finnish Navy's Katanpää-class mine-countermeasures vessel Purunpää

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