"Kursk" international fund to present in Brussels its plan to lift Russian submarine Kursk
Today the top executives of the Kursk international fund are to present in Brussels their plan to hoist the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk. As the RIA-Novosti correspondent reports, Igor Spassky, a vice-chairman of the fund and the director of the Central Design Bureau (CKB) Rubin at which the nuclear submarine was designed arrived in Brussels yesterday.
At a press conference in the capital of Belgium the leadership of the fund will sum up the results of the three-month work of the experts from Russia, Norway, the USA, Great Britain, Sweden, Italy and other countries. Specialists in different fields of science and technology will speak about the details of a planned lifting of the Kursk submarine from the bottom of the Barents Sea.
The international fund Kursk was established in November 2000 with the participation of the governments of Russia and the Netherlands. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR Alexander Bessmertnykh and former Defence Minister of the Netherlands Willem van Eckelen are its co-chairmen. The prime task of the fund is to prevent an ecological threat which can emanate from the lost submarine.
Rubin is continuing to work on the project of hoisting the Kursk. As Academician Spassky stated earlier, a contract between Rubin and the participants in the international consortium for lifting the wrecked submarine must be signed approximately at the beginning of February 2001. The list of its participants includes the Norwegian-US firm Halliburton and two Dutch companies -- Smit International and Heerema. According to the estimates made by the head of the government commission which has been investigating the causes of the accident, Ilya Klebanov, the contract sum will approximately total 70 million dollars. The international fund Kursk is ready to shoulder about half of the expenses. But it is only after the contract is signed that raising of money will start.
The foreign participants in the operation to hoist the Kursk's hull which is slated to be held in summer 2001 have already stated that they have preliminary distributed duties in the presumed operation in the Barents Sea among them.