Finnish media reported that the Finnish government and the Finnish Defence Forces suspect Russia attacked the Balticconnector gas pipeline, between Finland and Estonia, after a leak was detected, ERR.ee, the Estonian news website, and BNS, a Baltic newswire, reported on October 10.
The tabloid newspaper Iltalehti cites a foreign and security policy source as saying that the government and the Finnish Defence Forces suspect Russia of attacking the pipeline.
According to a Finnish government press release, the authorities have located the damaged point in the Balticconnector natural gas pipeline.
In addition, there is damage to a communication cable between the countries.
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said: "It is likely that the damage to both the gas pipeline and the data cable is caused by external activity. What specifically caused the damage is not yet known."
Estonian President Alar Karis on October 10 called the news about deliberate damage to undersea infrastructure between Finland and Estonia "very concerning".
"Very concerning information about damage to undersea gas and data infrastructure between Estonia & Finland. Finnish authorities in cooperation with Estonian colleagues continue [their] investigation to find out the circumstances related to the damage," the president wrote on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
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 undersea portion of Balticconnector runs for 77 kilometres between Paldiski in Estonia and Inkoo in Finland. The pipeline was launched in early 2020 and construction cost nearly €300 million.
As reported by bne IntelliNews, in the small hours of October 8, a sudden loss of pressure was detected by Gasgrid Finland and Estonian gas network operator Elering, who manages the pipeline.
As a result, two countries' transmission system operators shut off the gas in the pipeline.
On October 9, Gasgrid Finland said the only possible reason for the unusual pressure drop in the Balticconnector pipeline is a hole in the pipe, which has only been in use for a few years, ERR.ee and BNS said.