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Ex-navy chief denies Russia dumped nuclear waste in Baltic Sea

by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Feb 5, 2010
The former commander of the Russian navy's Baltic fleet on Friday denied Swedish media reports that Russia dumped radioactive and chemical waste into Swedish waters in the Baltic Sea in the early 1990s.

"This is complete nonsense and a clear provocation, propagated at an international level," Admiral Vladimir Yegorov, who commanded the Baltic fleet from 1991 to 2000, told the Interfax news agency.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Thursday called for the previous governments to explain a television report that Russia dumped chemical weapons and radioactive waste off the shores of a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea.

According to the television report on the SVT network on Wednesday, the waste dumped in Swedish waters between 1991 and 1994 came from the giant Karosta naval base in the Latvian port city of Liepaja.

"The naval forces that were pulling out of the Liepaja naval base in Latvia in the early 1990s did not have chemical weapons, radioactive materials and waste," Yegorov insisted.

He added that the Russian naval forces were monitored by Latvia as they pulled out of the port and that the naval command acted "strictly within the framework of Russian and Latvian agreements."

A summit of heads of state of countries bordering the Baltic Sea was to take place in Helsinki Wednesday to try to solve the problems of one of the world's most polluted seas.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was due to attend.

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Britain, India agree civil nuclear deal: ministers
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