DPB #81
MONDAY, AUGUST 14, 2000, 1:45 P.M.

QUESTION: Have the Russians asked for, has the US offered any help in the matter of the submarine that seems to have sunk? 

MR. REEKER: We have been following closely the situation there and awaiting confirmation of some details, which I see are coming minute by minute. I'm not aware of any particular conversations we've had at this point or requests for assistance. You might want to try the Pentagon since this is a continuously evolving situation involving that Russian submarine. We're still trying to get all the facts, and I would think the Pentagon would be first place to do that. But we'll watch that throughout the afternoon and can certainly let you know if there are any developments where we might be involved.

QUESTION: Has Russia officially notified the US about the circumstances of this submarine, what happened, was it an accident, whatever?

MR. REEKER: Again, I think the Pentagon is in a better position to give you any details on that. I'm trying to check -- as it is an evolving situation -- I tried to check before I came out. We were very much aware of their reports of this Russian nuclear submarine at the bottom of the Barents Sea and understand that, based on the reports, that the submarine is not carrying any nuclear weapons. 

I believe a Russian navy spokesman was quoted as saying that no radiation leaks were reported, and the nuclear propulsion plant was shut down on that submarine, that also reportedly has over 100 men on board. I believe just looking at the news reports that rescue operations are underway, but I don't have a lot of further details. Again, I think it's something the Pentagon would be able to address more fully.

QUESTION: But there's been no country-to-country communication on --

MR. REEKER: I wasn't aware of anything specifically this morning, other than the reports that we'd seen that were public in terms of this.

Other issues? Thanks.

(The briefing was concluded at 2:25 P.M.) 

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