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|Sunday, January 07, 2001, updated at 18:02(GMT+8)|
Russia Again Denies Deploying Nuclear Weapons in KaliningradRussian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko denied Jan.6 a report of a US newspaper saying Russia is transferring tactical nuclear weapons to the Kaliningrad enclave in the Baltic region.
"The Russian Defense Ministry has already denied this report, and from my side, I can say neither tactical nuclear weapons nor any sea, land or air-based naval facilities is being sent there," Yakovenko said here in an interview with the RTR television.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday also absolutely denied the report, describing it as "rubbish".
A front-page story, carried by Wednesday's issue of the Washington Times, said Russia is moving battlefield nuclear weapons into the military command of Kaliningrad in an apparent effort to step up military pressures on the expanded NATO alliance.
Both Russian Baltic Fleet and Russian Defense Ministry rejected the report Wednesday.
When asked if he has the impression that this false information had been spread deliberately to detract public attention away from the consequence of NATO's use of depleted uranium ammunition in Kosovo, Yakovenko said he "would not believe that" but "a number of experts really do raise this question."
The spokesman said he believed the aftereffect of using depleted uranium weapons "really exists," while calling for "an international assessment on this issue".
Russia had repeatedly warned of this during and after NATO's airstrikes against Yugoslavia, he added.
Yakovenko meanwhile confirmed he had so far get no information about radiation sickness cases among the Russian peacekeepers in Kosovo.
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