If it is proven that Russia is behind the damage to the Balticconnector gas pipeline, NATO should close navigation in the Baltic Sea, said the President of Latvia, Edgars Rinkeviczs. The politician emphasized that the decision must wait for the results of the investigation.
On October 8, the pressure dropped in the Balticconnector undersea gas pipeline and the failure of a telecommunications cable connecting Finland with Estonia. Media on both sides of the Gulf of Finland reported that, given the extent of the damage, it could take several months to restore gas transmission. Balticconnector also supplied gas to Latvia.
The president commented on the matter Latvia Edgars Rinkeviczs in an interview for one of the local TV stations. When asked what the answer should be FOR THIS to the damage to the Balticconnector gas pipeline and two cables, stated that first of all it is necessary to wait for the results of the investigation into this matter – reports the LSM portal.
Damage to the Balticconnector gas pipeline. Possible closure of the Baltic Sea?
– I talked to the presidents of Finland and… Estonia and it is more or less clear in which direction this is heading, added the Latvian leader.
– If we see such incidents, in my opinion NATO should really simply close shipping in the Baltic Sea. It can be done. The ships can be stopped, Rinkeviczs said.
– Of course, this is a matter of many maritime rights, but if it is clearly proven that it is Russia, then (…) in order to protect our critical infrastructure, we should talk about the fact that we can close Baltic Sea – continued the president.
However, as he pointed out, specific facts must be known for such talks to begin.
Earlier, in response to the damage to the gas pipeline, the Prime Minister of Latvia, Evika Silina, ordered an inspection of Latvian critical infrastructure in terms of its preparation for possible threats.
Destruction of infrastructure in the Baltic Sea
As the Finnish police reported on Wednesday (October 18), The services investigated, among others, two large transport ships in connection with the damage to the gas pipeline – one flying the flag of Hong Kong and the other flying the flag of Russia.
– Damage to maritime infrastructure is a test of Estonia’s defense capabilities against hybrid threats, Estonian President Alar Karis said on Tuesday.
The case of the damage to the Balticconnector gas pipeline, which occurred in Finland’s exclusive economic zone, was classified as a “serious destructive act of sabotage”, caused by “mechanical force” – one of the hypotheses is the anchor of a merchant ship lowered and dragged along the bottom. Initially, investigators ruled out the possibility of an explosion.
Swedish Minister of Civil Defense Carl-Oscar Bohlin announced on Tuesday that an underwater telecommunications cable between Sweden and Estonia was also damaged.
On Thursday, NATO informed about intensifying patrols in the Baltic Sea due to recent damage to undersea infrastructure in the region.
Main photo source: ENEX