A Norwegian Navy ship shadowed a Chinese container ship after accusations concerning damages to a gas pipeline in the Gulf of Finland. The Norwegian Navy observed the Chinese ship for approximately 15 hours as it sailed along the western coast of Norway on Monday, October 16, vessel tracking data shows.
Finnish investigators on Tuesday said they were looking into the Chinese vessel, the NewNew Polar Bear, along with other vessels present in the area when the pipeline was damaged on October 8. They said the incident was due to “external activity” and could have been deliberate.
The NewNew Polar Bear is a container ship traveling between Europe and China via the Northern Sea Route in the Arctic. On Monday, it left the Baltic Sea and entered the North Sea to head north along the Norwegian coast.
Norway, Europe’s largest gas supplier, deployed its Navy after the Nord Stream sabotage to protect its offshore oil and gas platforms.
The Norwegian military’s operational command center declined to comment on Monday’s operation. The owner and operator of the NewNew Polar Bear, also declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.