- MOSCOW - Two lawmakers said
Thursday that Moscow should ask to inspect a U.S. submarine they believe
hit and sank the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk for signs of a collision.
- Some Russian officials have said they believe the Kursk's
sinking on Aug. 12 was caused by a collision with another vessel, probably
a foreign submarine. All 118 sailors aboard the Kursk were killed.
- Government officials have refrained from faulting any
specific vessel and the United States and Britain have denied their vessels
- But nationalist lawmaker Alexei Mitrofanov and the deputy
chief of the parliamentary defense committee Nikolai Bezborodov said Thursday
that they suspect the USS Memphis was to blame.
- Two American attack submarine were monitoring Russian
navy exercises in the Barents Sea when the Kursk went down, but Mitrofanov
did not say why he had singled out the Memphis.
- Mitrofanov said Russia should appeal to President Bill
Clinton and the U.S. Congress to allow an "external examination"
of the Memphis.
- Mitrofanov and Bezborodov asked the Duma's governing
body Thursday to put their draft appeal to the United States on the chamber's
agenda, but the request was denied. The two lawmakers say they now plan
to ask the lower house of parliament directly to consider the motion.
- Other possible explanations of the Kursk disaster that
the Russians have considered include a collision with a World War II mine
or an explosion of the Kursk's own torpedoes.
- Sergei Zhekov, a former submariner who is a member of
the upper house of parliament, wrote in the regional newspaper Vladivostok
this week that he believed the Kursk was hit by a test missile from a Russian
warship, the Peter the Great, and then collided with a Russian ship.
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