EPAFinnish Minister for European Affairs Anders Adlercreutz
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 19:18
According to the Finnish Minister for European Affairs, Anders Adlercreutz, everything indicates that a Chinese ship that damaged a gas pipeline and a telecom link between Finland and Estonia with an anchor did so deliberately. The Chinese government probably knew about it, according to Adlercreutz.
The pipeline and telecom connections in the Gulf of Finland were damaged during the weekend of October 7 and 8. Initially it was thought to be an explosion, but further investigation showed that it was most likely an anchor from a Chinese ship that damaged the connections. An anchor was found at the site of the damage. A Chinese ship sailing nearby turned out to no longer have an anchor.
The investigation into the circumstances of the damage is still ongoing, but Finnish authorities have previously called the circumstances “highly suspicious”.
Quick return to China
Minister Adlercreutz now goes further in his statements and states in an interview with Politico that “everything indicates that this was done on purpose. Anyway, no one has admitted that so far.” He went on to say that he is not a captain, “but I would think you would realize it if you were dragging an anchor with you for hundreds of miles.”
Estonia also seems to think so. Estonian Defense Minister Pevkur said last month that the ship’s captain “really understood that something was wrong” when the ship dragged an anchor for miles.
Estonia and Finland have asked China if they can inspect the ship. The ship is currently en route to a Chinese port.
Adlercreutz believes that the Chinese government knew about the damage. He sees the rapid return to China as proof of this. “If, as a captain, I had done something that the Chinese government would not approve of, I would be very concerned if I returned to China with my boat.”
The Finnish minister advocates better security of pipelines, but acknowledges that this is very difficult.