Energy GAS Infrastructure / Innovations LNG SECURITY 17 October, 2023 7:30 am   

Gibała: Should Poland secure the Baltic Pipe after the Balticconnector gas pipeline incident?

Pipelines. Source: freepik Pipelines. Source: freepik

An undersea gas pipeline and telecommunications cable between Finland and Estonia has been damaged. It seems that this was not an accidental failure; the Finnish government suggests that the damage to the Balticconnector may have resulted from deliberate action. Now Poland should invest as a priority in securing the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline, combining modern technologies and international cooperation – writes Mateusz Gibała, contributor to

As a result of a recent incident in the Baltic Sea, which shook the balance in the region, an underwater gas pipeline and a telecommunications cable between Finland and Estonia have been damaged. It appears that this was not an accidental failure; the Finnish government suggests that the damage may have resulted from a deliberate action. The sharing of information between Finland and Estonia in the course of the investigation and NATO’s involvement add new dimensions to this worrying situation

It is worth noting that the Balticconnector gas pipeline was previously closed due to fears of a gas leak, which creates an additional context and adds complexity to the whole situation. In addition, the Prime Minister of Finland emphasizes that energy supplies remain stable, despite the fact that gas accounts for 5% of the country’s energy. The presence of a cross-border element, geopolitical tensions and rising gas prices in Europe are elements that make this event have significant consequences both on the domestic and international arena. This unique event not only sheds light on energy security issues, but also raises questions about the potential motivations and consequences for the countries involved.

The Finnish-Estonian investigation into the damage to the gas pipeline is becoming complicated, especially due to the high ship traffic in the area of the incident. There is a suspicion of possible involvement of a Russian cargo unit SVG Flot, which was near the site of the leak. However, the incident does not affect the security of gas supplies in the Baltic region, thanks to the underground reservoir of this raw material in Latvia. The Baltic states are taking measures to strengthen the protection of critical infrastructure, and the situation will be discussed at a meeting of NATO defense ministers. In Finland there is speculation about a possible act of sabotage, with emphasis on Russia as a suspect, but the official position is awaiting the results of the investigation.

The head of the Finnish intelligence and counterintelligence service, Antti Pelttari, has suggested that it is possible that “some state entity” is involved in the damage to the Balticconnector gas pipeline. During a conference in Helsinki, he stressed that since Finland was covered by Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, it was not very probable that Russia would damage critical infrastrcuture on its territory. Therefore, he focused on the possibility of atacks on the sea. The Central Criminal Police Bureau (KRP) is investigating, and has suggested that the gas pipeline damage was a “serious destructive act of sabotage” caused by “mechanical force”. The possibility of an explosion was initially ruled out. Supo, apart from the information about the incident also publishes an annual assessment of the securiy of the states, and has pointed out that the Russian intelligence is present and is interested in Finland’s role in NATO, and military aid for Ukraine. Pelttari points out that the capabilities of Russian personal intelligence are at a historically low level, which may be due to the recent expulsions of Russian diplomats and a restrictive visa policy. The Supo report also emphasizes that outside of Russia, China has shown interest in Finland, especially in high-tech areas, and agents may focus on obtaining information from people of Chinese origin living in Finland.

Poland should invest as a priority in securing the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline, combining modern technologies and international cooperation. The implementation of advanced monitoring systems, the use of sensor technology, drones and satellites will allow rapid detection of possible damage. At the same time, it is crucial to strengthen cyber security in order to effectively defend infrastructure against hacker attacks. Cooperation with the Baltic states, Scandinavia and NATO, through joint exercises and information exchange, is the foundation for effective defence. The continuation of the dialogue with NATO in the area of energy security further strengthens the region’s resilience to potential threats, creating a comprehensive protection system for the Baltic Pipe.