An estimated 300 tons of light crude oil outside Ireland is linked to Russia’s aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov. The leak happened two weeks ago while Kuznetsov was being refueled by an accompanying tanker.
Although Russian Navy spokesman said Friday unspecified ships spilled 20 to 30 metric tons of oil – ten times less than the Irish estimates – it was Russia’s first public admission of involvement, reports AP.
The oil spill is unlikely to pose a major risk to Ireland’s coastal habitat, thanks chiefly to unusually mild seas that were keeping the slick offshore.
Last week BarentsObserver reported that Admiral Kuznetsov passed the coast of Northern Norway and arrived at its Northern Fleet homeport on the Kola Peninsula on February 25th after being on patrol in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic since December.
The oil spill outside Ireland was not the first incident with Kuznetsov during the patrol. During take-off and landing drills on the evening of January 6 a fire broke out on the aircraft carrier. One conscript sailor died while trying to extinguish the fire, reported by BarentsObserver.