A Chinese ship was observed close to the undersea gas pipeline that suddenly started leaking into the Gulf of Finland. Finnish authorities expect the pipeline to be out of service for months after discovering it had been damaged earlier this month. Previous reports have been focused on a possible Russian sabotage of the pipeline linking Finland and Estonia.
The Estonian state broadcaster ERR now says that the Chinese container ship Newnew Polar Bear was closer to the pipeline at the key moment.
“It was much closer than the Russian ship when the leak was caused by ‘strong mechanical force’,” Estonian Daily later said.
The news of the Chinese ship being close to the pipeline around the time it started leaking, comes just as Finnish authorities have stated, that the damage was caused by an external force. The Estonian authorities has been slow to voice their suspicion due to the information being politically and diplomatically sensitive.
The Chinese container ship was reportedly returning to Shanghai with a stop in Russian Baltic exclave Kaliningrad.
Estonia has not yet challenged China at diplomatic level on the matter.