OPERATION POSTPONED

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Vyacheslav Gudkov, Aleksei Smirnov, Yevgeny Fedorov Kommersant, March 12, 2001, p. 1

SUMMARY:

Deputy Premier Klebanov says the operation in the Barents Sea will be postponed. The implication is that it may be cancelled altogether.

Klebanov implied that the blame lay with the Kursk International Foundation unable to raise the necessary $55-60 million. “The $20-25 million of the Russian contribution have been theoretically allocated,” Klebanov said.

Paradoxically enough, it is precisely Russia’s inability to raise the needed sum that was thought to be the major obstacle until now. All known facts indicate that Klebanov is merely trying to pin the blame on somebody else.

Spokesmen for Design Bureau Rubin and the Navy deny any knowledge concerning the delay.

Well informed sources say there is a chance to lift the Kursk by end October and complete the whole operation this year if the main phase of the operation begins in the first days of September.

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