HOW to raise THE KURSK?

Managers of the Kursk international foundation are to present today in Brussels their plan on how raise the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk. Igor Spassky, vice-chairman of the fund and the director of the Central Design Bureau (TsKB) Rubin, where the submarine had been designed, arrived in Brussels yesterday. At a press conference in Belgium’s capital the fund’s managers are expected to sum up the results of a 3 months long work of the experts from Russia, Norway, the USA, Great Britain, Sweden, Italy, and other countries. Experts in different fields of science and technology will talk about the details of a planned lifting of the Kursk submarine from the Barents Sea bed. The Kursk international foundation 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 top priority of the fund is to prevent an environmental threat which can come from the crashed submarine. According to Academician Spassky, a contract between the Rubin and the international consortium’s participants is to be signed in early February 2001. The list of its participants includes the Norwegian-US firm Halliburton and two Dutch companies, Smit International and Heerema. The contract is estimated at the total of $70m. The foundation is ready to cover about half of the expenses.