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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING Briefer: Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman TUESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2000 1:50 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) Q: Is there any US angle to the saga about the stranded Russian submarine? MR. REEKER: As I was coming out here, Admiral Quigley was briefing at the Pentagon, and I believe he is probably in the best position to address those issues. I can say generally -- if I can find the right spot -- we are very concerned, obviously, about the fate of the crew of that submarine, and we hope for a successful rescue effort, rescue operation, to bring those men safely to the surface. I don't have other details. We have asked the Russians if there is anything we could do to help. At this point, we haven't received any request for assistance. We're going to continue to monitor the situation very closely. Yesterday, I think Mr. Lockhart from the White House traveling party in California indicated that National Security Advisor Berger had spoken with Russian National Security Advisor Ivanov in a previously scheduled phone call, and offered our assistance should there be anything we could do. We don't have a lot of details on the cause of the crash, but we understand there are over 100 men on board. I think, as you have all been watching as this unfolds, the Russians have told us that rescue operations are underway. But the situation certainly remains very serious and we'll continue to watch that. Q: I just wanted to clarify, on the Russian sub, has there been any contact at all between the United States and Russia today? MR. REEKER: I can't tell you anything further about today, specifically. As I indicated, I think the Pentagon is the place to turn for any of the latest details on that. There were discussions through various channels. As I indicated yesterday, Sandy Berger spoke with his Russian counterpart, offering US assistance. I believe the Russians indicated their gratitude, but had not requested any assistance, up until -- certainly to this point. So we'll continue to be there to be available if we can, provide assistance, and monitor it as closely as we can. (The briefing was concluded at 2:10 P.M.) (end transcript)