Armed mine disposal vehicle found near gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea

0:48 min

An armed remote controlled mine disposal vehicle has been found near a Russian gas pipeline a few kilometres east of the Baltic island of Öland. 

The unmanned vehicle was discovered Friday by the gas company Nord Stream during an annual routine check of the pipeline, Jesper Stolpe at the Swedish Armed Forces tells Radio Sweden. The company then notified the Swedish Armed Forces because the vehicle was found in the Swedish economic zone.

Stolpe says that their preliminary findings suggest that the vehicle is armed with an explosive charge used to dispose of naval mines, but he adds that it's unlikely that it will cause any damage to the pipeline.

"We don't consider it to be dangerous to merchant vessels or the pipeline at this point," Stolpe tells Radio Sweden.

Stolpe says that the vehicle has the capacity to damage the pipeline, which in turn could cause a gas leak, but that the wire needed to trigger the charge and to control the vehicle has been cut off rendering the vehicle fairly harmless.