NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday said the alliance stands with Estonia and Finland over concerns about damage to the undersea pipeline Balticconnector.
Stoltenberg said he spoke to Finnish President Saili Niinistö on Tuesday.
"NATO is sharing information & stands ready to support Allies concerned," he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Spoke with President Sauli @niinisto on damage to undersea infrastructure between #Estonia & #Finland. #NATO is sharing information & stands ready to support Allies concerned. @TPKanslia @EstonianGovt— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) October 10, 2023
The Estonian government has not yet commented on the situation. A press conference will be held this evening.
A leak in the Balticconnector pipeline between Estonia and Finland was detected early on Sunday morning. The pipeline was then closed.
Additionally, there is damage to the communication cable between the countries, the Finnish Government said.
Sources told Finnish media that the government and the Finnish Defense Forces suspect that Russia attacked the pipeline.
On Tuesday, Niinistö in a statement said it is likely the damage to the gas pipeline as well as an adjacent data cable was the result of "external activity".
Finnish PM Petteri Orpo told the country's parliament that the gas pipeline is damaged in Finland's economic waters, while a related communications cable disruption likely took place in Estonia's exclusive economic zone.
Orpo added that based on what the authorities know, the leak was not a result of normal use or a change in pressure.
The Estonian and Finnish governments will give separate press conferences tonight.
The Estonian Ministry of Defense said it will hold a press conference at 6:30 p.m., with Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur and Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna set to attend.
The undersea portion of Balticconnector runs for 77 kilometers between Paldiski in Estonia and Inkoo in Finland. The pipeline was launched in early 2020 and construction cost nearly €300 million.
Read a summary of the events so far here.
Editor: Helen Wright