WHERE LIES ABOUT THE KURSK END?

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Aleksei Smirnov Novye Izvestia, April 6, 2001, p. 3

SUMMARY:

Grigori Tomchin of the governmental commission told the Norwegian TV company TV2 the Kursk had been carrying nuclear weapons and its catastrophe could have resulted in much more serious consequences.

Harald Ramfiord of the Norwegian company Global Tool Management backs up Tomchin. He says he happened to see in late 2000 a classified document which confirmed the presence of two guided missiles with nuclear warheads on the Kursk. His company will reconsider its plans of participation in the operation if the reports are confirmed, Ramfiord says. Meanwhile, official Moscow assured Norway more then once that the Kursk did not carry nuclear weapons.

Norwegian experts doubt the validity of Tomchin’s and Ramfiord’s claims. Ecological organization Bellona distrusts their statements too.

Vice Admiral Einar Skurgen who coordinated the rescue effort in the Barents Sea last August says Moscow could have told a lie.

Skurgen: The Russians might have wanted to tune down the international stir.

Norway does not dramatize the fact of reported presence of nuclear missiles on the Kursk. Its military and civilian experts say the threat posed by the submarine reactor is much graver. If, however, the reports of the nuclear missiles are confirmed, political and economic harm to Russia will be incalculable.

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