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Undersea telecom cable between Sweden and Estonia damaged by 'tampering'

by Abbey Fenbert October 24, 2023 3:28 AM 2 min read
A U.S. Navy ship in port of Gdynia, Poland on 17 June 2023. (Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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An underwater telecommunications cable between Sweden and Estonia was "damaged by means of external force or tampering," the Swedish government said on Oct. 23.

A Swedish investigation concluded that the damage occurred "within the Estonian economic zone" and did not affect the cable's functionality.

Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson and Civil Defense Minister Carl-Oskar Bohlin held a press conference on Oct. 17 to discuss the damage, which was discovered around the same time as damage to a Finnish-Estonian gas pipeline and nearby telecommunications cable.

"We are cooperating closely with our Estonian and Finnish partners. Estonia has reported that traces of physical impacts have been found. They have also assessed that the damage to the gas pipeline and communications cable between Finland and Estonia is related to the damage to the communications cable between Sweden and Estonia," Bohlin said.

Sweden confirmed on Oct. 23 that the damage was inflicted upon the cable deliberately.

In response to the damage to the Sweden-Estonia cable and Finland-Estonia pipeline, NATO has increased its surveillance in the Baltic Sea. The Swedish government also said it would increase patrols.

"Due to recent events, maritime surveillance is conducted more intensively," the announcment said.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin denied Russia's involvement in the sabotage of the Finland-Estonia pipeline.

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