ERIC SCHMITT, Senator for Missouri

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Eric Schmitt sent a letter to United States Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines requesting a classified briefing on the Chinese NewNew Polar Bear vessel that may have intentionally severed a critical gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea:

“I have major concerns that the Chinese shipping vessel NewNew Polar Bear dragging its anchor across the Baltic Sea for dozens of miles was done intentionally to afflict the already tenuous energy economy in the Baltic region. We already know the Chinese Communist Party doesn’t play by the rules, and it is not outrageous to suspect this incident was intentional. In the South China Sea, China has a proven track record of using commercial vessels under the guise of civilian control to conduct military maritime operations that achieve strategic objectives. Given the timing in the lead up to winter, the unusual routing of the Chinese vessel, and Finland’s recent accession to NATO, the best course of action is a briefing on the incident so that we can get answers and determine our next steps,” said Senator Eric Schmitt.