Secretary-general of the Kursk Foundation Rio Praaning has refuted the assertions of some media that Russian authorities disagree both with the foundation and international consortium over the financing of the Kursk submarine retrieval. Addressing journalists, Mr Praaning denied the fact that Russia had received a kind of ultimatum to urgently transmit a sum to finance the lifting efforts. The foundation's secretary-general said the problem of the Kursk retrieval financing had not been solved yet. However, preparations for lifting the sub are underway, with the operation entering its final phase in July-August this year, Mr Praaning added. The Russian and western sides agreed to halve the expenses /approximately $70 mln/ of the lifting operation. The sides also counted on the European Commission and some donor-countries' backing up the project financially, RIA Novosti announces. In his interview with the media, the Kursk foundation secretary-general referred to a letter Russian Vice-Premier Ilya Klebanov sent to the European Commission's top brass, saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin had supported the retrieving operation.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz sharply commented on the remarks from the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) of Germany