The saga surrounding the ‘Yekaterinburg’ submarine blaze continues for Russian authorities amongst further confirmation of onboard weapons.
Russian publication Kommersant has reported that the submarine might have been carrying as many as 16 missiles and 12 torpedoes when the fire broke out. Standard practice is to remove them when a submarine enters dry docks.
Officials have denied ‘Yekaterinburg’ was loaded with weapons, but two subsequent disclosures show otherwise.
The first was an indirect admission by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, the second, confirmation by Alexander Vitko, Northern Fleet Vice-Admiral, to paper Lifenews, Friday.
Norwegian authorities were not informed of whether the Delta-class submarine had weapons on board at the time, however, which Bellona Foundation nuclear physicist Nils Bøhmer calls “a breach.”
“This is the closest you can get to an official admission, which Norwegian officials will probably never get,” he told VG.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made specific requests to Russian authorities, hoping to find out the truth of whether weapons were indeed on board.
“We have raised the matter several times, so far relating to assurances from Russia that this was not the case. Nevertheless, we have asked for updated information based on information that has emerged in the media lately, and are awaiting a response from Russian authorities,” said press spokesperson Marte Lerberg Kopstad.
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