Kremlin, Asked about Damaged Baltic Pipeline, Says Threats to Russia 'Unacceptable'

Monday, October 23, 2023

The Kremlin said on Monday that any threats made against Russia were "unacceptable" after Latvia's president said NATO should shut the Baltic Sea to shipping if Moscow were found responsible for damage to a gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also repeated Moscow's denial of any involvement in the damage inflicted on the Balticconnectorpipeline and a telecoms cableon Oct. 8.

Finnish investigators have said the damage may have been an act of sabotage, though they have yet to conclude whether it was an accident or a deliberate act.

Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics said in a TV interview last week that NATO should close the Baltic Sea to ships if Russia were proven responsible for the damage to the Balticconnector.

Finland, Estonia and Latvia are all members of the Western NATO military alliance.

Asked about Rinkevics' remarks, Peskov told a regular news briefing: "Any threats must be taken seriously, no matter who they come from. Any threats to the Russian Federation are unacceptable."

"I repeat once again: Russia has nothing to do with this (incident)," he said.

Finland has said its investigation is currently focused on the role of the Chinese NewNew Polar Bear container vessel.

Peskov said he would like to ask Rinkevics in turn about the explosions last year that ruptured Russia's Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic, which Moscow has said - without providing evidence - were carried out by the United States and its allies.

Washington denies any responsibility for the blasts.  Swedish, Danish and German investigators have blamed sabotage but have not yet decided who was behind it.

"I would like to ask Mr. President (Rinkevics) what needs to be done with the Baltic Sea after the investigation is completed and after it becomes clear who carried out and who ordered the terrorist attack in the Baltic against the Nord Streams," Peskov said.

"On this score, Mr. President decided to remain silent and not speak," Peskov added.

 (Reporting by Reuters/Writing by Gareth Jones; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

Categories: Energy Government Update Pipelines Industry News Activity Europe Baltic Sea

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