DATE=9/8/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA SUB (UPDATE, L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-266270 BYLINE=EVE CONANT DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: ///EDS: UPDATES 2-266259 WITH GOVERNMENT REACTION, ANALYSTS BITE, PARLIAMENT CALL FOR INDEPENDENT INQUIRY/// INTRO: A German newspaper is reporting that a missile fired by a Russian warship hit and sank the Russian submarine Kursk last month. All crew members aboard the nuclear-powered sub died in the accident (on August 12th). Russian officials said there were no live warheads used during naval exercises and that the two vessels were not near each other at the time of the accident. VOA's Eve Conant reports from the Russian capital officials say a government commission meeting on the causes of the disaster might yield more information next week. TEXT: Russian officials are hotly denying a report by the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung, which says a Russian intelligence report tells how a radar-guided missile, fired by the cruiser Peter the Great, sank the submarine Kursk. The German newspaper said a "Granit" missile had been fired from the Russian warship during naval exercises in the Barents Sea. The newspaper said no details of the exact circumstances of the missile firing are available, but it adds that the explosions that sank the Kursk would have been visible from the bridge of the warship. The report published in Berlin Friday says Russia's President Vladimir Putin received a domestic intelligence service report more than a week ago detailing the accident. But Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov said there was no shooting underway at the time of the accident and no live ammunition was being used. ///ACT KLEBANOV IN RUSSIAN IN FULL AND FADE UNDER/// He says, "I saw something similar to the German report in a regional newspaper ten days ago-they must have taken it from there." Here in Moscow, a press officer for the Federal Security Service, the FSB, says there will be no comment on the matter - even on whether such a report exists. ///ACT FSB PRESS SERVICE IN RUSSIAN IN FULL AND FADE UNDER/// An FSB press officer explains that the agency does not comment on newspaper reports, "especially" she adds, on "information printed in a foreign newspaper." /// OPT /// Russia's Interfax news agency also quotes a senior Russian navy official as denying a Russian missile hit the submarine. Independent defense expert Pavel Felgenhauer questioned the German report. ///ACT FELGENHAUER/// "Improbable. The problem is that the Granit cruise missile is not designed to hit underwater targets at all. It basically could have hit a submarine, but only when it's on the surface." ///End Act/// A second defense specialist, Alexander Golts doubted that any foreign newspaper would be able to access a Russian intelligence report. ///ACT GOLTS/// I doubt very seriously that any foreign newspaper - as well as Russian - can have a real FSB report on the case of the tragedy of the Kursk. But speaking theoretically, the version they insist upon-that this submarine was attacked by a missile from the Pyotr Veliki (Peter the Great) is very real - as are five or six other versions. ///END ACT/// ///END OPT/// The cause of the explosions that ripped through the Kursk has been a mystery since the submarine sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea on August 12th, killing all 118 crewmen on board. Russian officials have suggested the Kursk went down following a collision with a foreign object. The Berliner Zeitung report said the cruiser had been fitted with a new enemy-hunting system and had fired the missile from the distance of 20 kilometers. It quotes the Russian intelligence report as saying an underwater explosion was registered aboard the cruiser, followed by another moments later. Russia's Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev on Friday also denied a separate report that a Russian intelligence submarine was near the Kursk at the time of the accident. ///ACT SERGEYEV IN RUSSIAN IN FULL AND FADE UNDER/// "I can only say that it never happened," says the Defense Minister. "There is no submarine of the Chief Intelligence Service - it does not even exist." The United States Navy has told Russia it believes two explosions caused the sinking of the Kursk, and that the second, more powerful blast led to the immediate flooding of the vessel. Deputy Prime Minister Klebanov told Interfax that materials given by United States specialists contained no new information and that the collision was most likely caused by a mine, a malfunction in the front section, or a collision with an underwater object. He said a government meeting on the causes of the disaster would be held next week. A Russian parliamentary faction called on Friday for an independent inquiry into the cause of the Kursk disaster. (Signed) NEB/EC/GE/KBK 08-Sep-2000 11:31 AM EDT (08-Sep-2000 1531 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .