Sweden says telecom cable with Estonia damaged

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A Baltic Sea telecom cable connecting Sweden with Estonia has been damaged at roughly the same time as a Finnish-Estonian pipeline and cable were damaged earlier this month, Sweden’s civil defence minister said on Tuesday.

The damage to the cable was sustained outside the territorial waters and exclusive economic zone of Sweden, Swedish Civil Defence Minister Carl-Oskar Bohlin told a news conference, and the cable had continued to function since then.

“We can’t say at the moment what caused this damage,” he said. “But what we can say is that this damage has happened at a similar time and in physical proximity … to the damage that was previously reported to a gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland and a telecommunications cable between Estonia and Finland.”

Europe and NATO have become increasingly concerned about the vulnerability of critical infrastructure around and under the Baltic Sea.

The news comes just days after Finland said Helsinki said that a subsea gas pipeline and a telecommunications cable connecting Finland and Estonia had been damaged in what may have been a deliberate act.

That, in turn, followed explosions in September 2022 which ruptured the Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic Sea and cut Europe’s supply of Russian gas.

(Reporting by Niklas Pollard and Simon Johnson, editing by Nerijus Adomaitis)