Estonia Says Three Damaged Baltic Pipelines 'Related'

    Photo: Pier Marco Tacca/Getty images News [via Getty Images]

    The Facts

    • Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has claimed that three incidents resulting in damage to a gas pipeline and two telecom cables between Estonia, Finland, and Sweden "are related." One of the incidents, which could leave the Balticconnector Finland-Estonia pipeline out of commission until at least April, prompted Finland to raise its risk assessment for gas supply security on Friday.

    • The ruptured underwater lines occurred earlier this month, with Finnish authorities this week saying they suspect the culprit to be a Chinese vessel called Newnew Polar Bear after an initial probe discovered an anchor — which is thought to have caused the damage — on the floor of the Baltic Sea.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    While it's true that no one knows the cause yet, there's a reason investigators have so far pointed to a Chinese ship as a suspect. Not only did they find evidence of an anchor — thought to be the Newnew Polar Bear's — being dragged across the pipeline, but China, as well as Russia, would have had an incentive to disrupt a European gas supply line. As energy sources become an increasingly important factor in global issues, it's justifiable to point to these countries.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    First of all, no evidence has been found linking any Russian vessels to this incident, which is why Moscow has denied any involvement in the matter. And even though these investigators claim they found evidence of an anchor, the truth is that no abnormalities due to poor sea conditions were found that would suggest the boat was conducting unusual activities. While an investigation must be conducted, it must also be done objectively.

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