Kallas on Balticconnector damage: No point speculating before we have full facts

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

There is zero point in speculating what happened to cause the rupture in the Estonia-Finland Balticconnector submarine pipeline last weekend, and the team tasked with investigating the chain of events should be left in peace to do so, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) says.

Talking to ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) Wednesday, the Prime Minister stressed that there is currently no problem with the security of gas supply in Estonia.

When asked if, having viewed images of the damage to the pipeline, detected after a steep drop in gas pressure in the small hours of Sunday, the prime minister was able to state whether the cause could have been an explosion, or something else, Kallas reiterated that she is not an expert, adding that the investigation team is working on the matter.

"Procedures have really gotten underway with regard to the gas pipeline, under Finnish management, and regarding the communication cable, under our management. Let the experts do their work to say what exactly happened. But yes, I have seen the images," the prime minister said.

The cable she referred to is a telecoms link owned by Estonian carrier Elisa.

"There is certainly much at stake here. It is true that these things could not have taken place naturally, even as there was a storm raging at the time; the damage demonstrates that. What is important is how we proceed from this point."

"Again I repeat, there's no need to get ahead of events. This has come under plenty of scrutiny, considering what has been happening in the world, and any words or versions [of events] coming out carry their own weight. We will have to proceed calmly with this investigation, which nonetheless is also being carried out at pace," the prime minister continued.

It is not yet possible to state whether the breakage of the Balticconnector pipeline and the Elisa communication cable are related, she added, nor is it not known when more concrete answers about the incident might arrive.

Kallas praised the level of cooperation shown by Finnish investigators – the rupture occurred in Finnish waters – while stressed options were under discussion, including with allied nations, on the defense and protection of other critical infrastructure objects, be they under the sea or on dry land.

The Balticconnector, operated by Elering and its Finnish counterpart Gasgrid, was opened in late 2019 and runs from Inkoo, on the Finnish side of the gulf, to Paldiski. Both ports have LNG vessel berthing capabilities.

The Balticconnector pipeline is likely to be out of action until the spring.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Barbara Oja

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera,' interviewer Priit Kuusk.

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