OPERATION IN THE BARENTS SEA UNDER QUESTION

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Sergei Ptichkin Rossiiskaya Gazeta, March 12, 2001

SUMMARY:

INTERFAX news agency quotes Deputy Premier Ilya Klebanov as saying the operation in the Barents Sea will take place in late summer or early autumn, not in July or August as previously planned. Financial difficulties have been encountered. The contract between Design Bureau Rubin and the international consortium has to be signed yet.

The postponement puts the operation in jeopardy because of foul weather.

Russia’s foreign partners are not exactly in a hurry to raise the necessary sum for the operation. The delays might be attributed to covert pressure from the United States which is suspected by some to fear discovery of evidence of “a collision with an unidentified submerged object”. Only recently a US nuclear submarine did ram and sink a Japanese fishing boat.

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