THE EPRON WILL BE REVIVED FOR KURSK’S SAKE

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Igor Naumov Parlamentskaya Gazeta, March 29, 2001, p. 2

SUMMARY:

The Defense Ministry and particularly the Navy is in charge of all organizational matters. A special expedition (a modern analog of the EPRON) will be formed for the operation in the Barents Sea on the government’s orders.

No comments from the Navy are forthcoming. Ilya Klebanov reiterates that the operation will begin in August or September.

The discord among potential partners is considerable. The West wants all contracts to be signed by appropriate representatives of the Russian administration. The Russian administration backs up the suggestion of the Defense Ministry to delegate this power to the Design Bureau Rubin.

Russia’s most probable partners are the Dutch companies Smith Tak and Heerema Marine Contractors Netherlands BV and the Norwegian Halliburton AS.

The operation will cost approximately $80 million. Official Moscow will raise about half of the sum, leaving the rest to the International Foundation Kursk.

Financial problems should be negotiated without delays or the operation in the Barents Sea will be jeopardized.

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