Sweden not informed about submarine fire

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt is critical to the lack of information given by the Russian side about the fire in the nuclear submarine “Yekaterinburg” in December 2011.


“Most of what I know, I have learned through the media”, Bildt says to SVT. Sweden and Russia have agreements on exchange of information in case of nuclear accidents, and it is true that this incident did not develop into a nuclear accident, so on this part the Russians acted according to the agreement, he says.

“But we now know that the submarine had nuclear weapons on board, and it would have been an advantage if they had informed about that”.

Two weeks ago the Northern Fleet admitted that the “Yekaterinburg” was brought into dock outside Murmansk without having the weapons removed first. The submarine had up to 16 intercontinental “Sineva” missiles, each carrying four nuclear warheads, and 12 torpedoes on board when the fire broke out.

Read all of BarentsObserver’s articles on the fire on “Yekaterinburg”

Bildt supports the letter that Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre sent to the Kremlin, but is not planning on any other reaction towards Russia. “Sweden and Norway share the same information flow and the same communication with the Russians”. Nuclear safety and other environmental problems are among Sweden’s main issues in the cooperation with Russia, Bildt says.