Latvia president threatens Baltic Sea shutdown If Russia tied to Balticconnector incident
Edgars Rinkēvičs (Photo: EPA)

The Baltic Sea should be closed to shipping if, according to the conclusions of the investigation, it turns out that Russia is involved in the accident on the Finnish-Estonian Balticconnector gas pipeline, Latvian President Edgars Rinkēvičs said, according to LSM.

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After the episode, NATO states decided to strengthen sea patrolling.

"If we see this kind of incidents, in my opinion, NATO should really just close shipping in the Baltic Sea. It can be done. The ships can be stopped," said Rinkēvičs.

At the same time, he added that the possible closure of the Baltic Sea for ships is "a matter of a whole series of maritime rights."

When asked what should be NATO's response to the damage to the gas pipeline, the Latvian president noted that "we must first wait for the results of the investigation."

"But if it is clearly proven that it is Russia, there should be a discussion that in order to protect our critical infrastructure, it is necessary to say that we can close the Baltic Sea," the Latvian president stated.

Balticconnector is a pipeline that has connected the gas transportation systems of Finland and Estonia since 2019. Its throughput capacity is 7.2 million cubic meters per day, its length is 150 km, of which 77 km is at the bottom of the Gulf of Finland in the Baltic Sea.

On Sunday, October 8, due to an emergency situation, the supply of gas through the Balticconnector, an underwater gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia, stopped.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has promised to mount a "determined" response if a deliberate attack on the Balticconnector gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland is proven.