According to Finland, China has promised to fully cooperate in the investigation of the damage to the Balticconnector gas pipeline. The incident happened last month, on the same night as subsea telecoms cables in the area were also damaged.
“China have promised full cooperation and we trust it.” Finnish Foreign Minister, Elina Valtonen, told Reuters on a news conference in Helsinki, Wednesday, November 8.
Finnish police are currently investigating whether a Hong Kong registered container vessel, the NewNew Polar Bear, damaged the pipeline by dragging its anchor over the sea bed. They have not yet concluded whether this was an accident or not. An anchor believed to belong to the Chinese ship was later found near the pipeline by Finnish investigators.
“Now that the investigation is progressing, I believe that the Chinese authorities will not only take it seriously, but will also fully cooperate with us,” the minister said.
Two telecoms’ cables linking Estonia to Finland and Sweden were damaged on the same night between October 7-8.
According to data analyzed by shipping intelligence firm Marine Traffic, the NewNew Polar Bear crossed over both the pipeline and the telecoms cables in less than nine hours.
China has expressed willingness to provide necessary information regarding the incident in line with international law. NewNew Shipping, the vessel’s owner and operator, has refrained from commenting on the matter when approached by Reuters.