China’s Newnew Polar Bear: mysterious anchor attack shakes balticconnector

China’s Newnew Polar Bear: mysterious anchor attack shakes balticconnector
Newnew Polar Bear

Helsinki, October 25, 2023 – Finnish authorities believe they may have finally cracked the enigma surrounding the Balticconnector gas pipeline damage. It appears that an anchor from a Chinese vessel is the suspected culprit behind the detrimental impact on the crucial infrastructure that connects Finland and Estonia.

‘Newnew Polar Bear’ accused: chinese vessel’s anchor linked to gas pipeline damage

During a press conference, the National Investigation Bureau explicitly pointed the finger at the Chinese vessel ‘Newnew Polar Bear.‘ According to Finnish experts, this ship is accused of inadvertently dragging an anchor over a considerable distance of more than two meters, with an additional two meters in width and an estimated thickness of approximately one meter. This unfortunate incident occurred on October 8, causing substantial harm to the gas pipeline.

Telecommunications cable in crosshairs: swedish authorities investigate ‘external force’

The repercussions of this incident extended beyond the gas pipeline itself. Swedish authorities reported that the underwater telecommunications cable linking Sweden and Estonia had also been affected. The damage was attributed to either an “external force” or potential “tampering”. What’s intriguing is that this event transpired in the same geographic area and during the same “timeframe” as the Balticconnector gas pipeline incident and precisely within the quadrant traversed by the Chinese vessel.

Recovery and the silent ‘Newnew Polar Bear’

Finland swiftly acted to remove the anchor from the depths of the Baltic Sea. However, efforts to establish communication with the ‘Newnew Polar Bear’ have been met with silence. The vessel was in the vicinity of the Balticconnector breach on the day of the incident but failed to respond to outreach from Finnish maritime authorities. As investigators delve deeper into the matter, they have abstained from issuing definitive statements regarding the cause, leaving open the possibility that it might have been an unfortunate accident or a deliberate act of sabotage. Notably, suspicions about the involvement of a Russian vessel, initially considered a prime suspect, have been dispelled.

Interconnected damage: telecommunications cable impact on Sweden-Estonia connection

Carl-Oskar Bohlin, the Swedish Minister of Civil Protection, reported that “Estonia has detected traces of physical impact on the cable”. Additionally, it is believed that the damages incurred by the gas pipeline. In addition, the communication cable connecting Finland and Estonia are interconnected with the harm sustained by the communication cable between Sweden and Estonia.

Security measures heightened: Stockholm’s military ship dispatched

In response to these developments, Stockholm dispatched the military ship Belos to “conduct an inquiry.” Meanwhile, ten Northern European nations, including Finland, Sweden, and Estonia, have reached a consensus to fortify the surveillance of their critical infrastructure following the temporary closure of the gas pipeline in Finland. Furthermore, NATO has intensified its presence in the Baltic Sea.