News

Norway had Informed Russia About Rocket Launch

by Yuriy Kozlov and Aleksandr Stepanenko
Moscow ITAR-TASS, 27 January 1995
[FBIS Transcribed Text] Moscow January 27 TASS -- Norway
has timely informed Russia on the exact day and place of the
launch of its meteorological rocket which caused much ado in the
world after Russian media quoted air defence sources as saying
they had downed a combat missile flying from Norway.
A spokesman of the Norwegian Embassy in Moscow told TASS on
Friday that Russia had been informed in advance about the launch
scheduled for the end of January in the framework of the arctic
scientific research programme. The rocket landed as envisaged
on Spitzbergen, over 1,000 km away from the Russian mainland.
The official spokesman of the russian Foreign Ministry,
Mikhail Demurin, confirmed to TASS on Friday that, "according to
international practice, the Norwegian side has nearly a month
ago informed the Russian Foreign Ministry through its embassy in
Oslo about the launch with a special note in which the time and
the place of the experiment were mentioned".
"In its turn, the Foreign Ministry extended the information
to the Defence Ministry of Russia", Demurin said.
However, according to the Russian military, the rocket which
never reached the Russian territory sent the air defence on
alert. President Boris Yeltsin said on Thursday that he did not
rule out a possibility that the launch might be a check of the
"vigilance" of the national armed forces and praised the
military for good work in timely detecting and tracing the
rocket.
TASS learned from sources in the Russian Foreign Ministry,
that the rocket story made Norwegian Ambassasdor in Russia Per
Tresselt visit the Foreign Ministry on Thursday to clear up the
situation. He met there with Yuriy Fokin, the director of the
second European department; however, the source refused to
disclose the results of the meeting.