KURSK SALVAGE OPERATION IS SHORT OF MONEY

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Izvestia, March 12, 2001, p. 2

Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov, who heads the government commission on investigating the Kursk nuclear submarine disaster, announced yesterday that the start of the salvage operation has been postponed from July-August to late summer and early autumn. According to the Interfax news agency, the postponement is due to the delay in signing a contract between the Rubin Design Bureau and an international consortium including Dutch and Norwegian firms: Halliburton, Smith Tak, HMC, and Mamut. According to Klebanov, the reason for the postponement is that the international Kursk foundation, established to raise money for salvaging the submarine, is most unlikely to accumulate the required $80 million in time (of this sum, Russia is to provide $25 million). Klebanov also noted that “if the fund fails to raise the necessary sum of money, the missing part will be taken from the 2002 federal budget”.

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