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DATE=9/15/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA / PARLIAMENT / KURSK (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-266553 BYLINE=EVE CONANT DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The Russian official in charge of the investigation into the sinking of the nuclear submarine Kursk faced a barrage of criticism Friday as he addressed Russia's lower house of parliament, the Duma. Moscow correspondent Eve Conant reports Russian authorities admit rescue efforts were inadequate but denied that there has been any deliberate disinformation over the causes of the disaster. TEXT: Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov explained to angry lawmakers in the Russian Duma that the government did not, in his words, "mislead anyone" in its handling of the Kursk disaster. The Kursk nuclear submarine sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea in August, killing all 118 crewmen on board. There is still no official explanation for the disaster. Russian authorities have said it could have been caused by a collision with a mine or a foreign vessel, or possibly by an explosion inside the submarine's torpedo compartment. A German newspaper has said the Kursk was hit by friendly fire from a Russian warship. /// ACT KLEBANOV IN RUSSIAN IN FULL AND FADE UNDER /// Deputy Prime Minister Klebanov says, "first we must extract the bodies from the submarine and this will be very complicated. Then there is the question of raising the submarine from the seabed. Only when we refloat the vessel will we have a final conclusion as to what really happened." Russian authorities say they plan to raise the Kursk sometime next year. But some Russian parliamentarians, such as Communist lawmaker Vassily Shandybin, argued that the Kursk sank after a collision with a U-S submarine and accused the government of hiding the truth. /// ACT SHANDYBIN IN RUSSIAN IN FULL AND FADE UNDER /// He says, "Russia doesn't even have money for rescue devices because everything has been stolen. Everyone bears responsibility for the death of those on board the submarine." Lawmakers asked the deputy prime minister if he was planning to resign, which he denied. He was also asked why authorities claimed to have heard SOS tapping signals coming from inside the submarine when it first went down. /// SECOND ACT KLEBANOV IN RUSSIAN IN FULL AND FADE UNDER /// Mr. Klebanov says, "I personally heard a tape recording of a distinct knocking sound. We identified this as a signal coming from inside the submarine but now we believe it was most likely caused by a mechanical device on board." Several times Mr. Klebanov denied that there had been any deliberate effort by the government to mislead the Russian people and the international community. The Itar-Tass news agency quotes the Russian official as saying that even if some crewmembers had survived the blasts onboard, the submarine sank too deep for any rescue mission to have been successful. (Signed) NEB/EC/KL/KBK 15-Sep-2000 09:16 AM EDT (15-Sep-2000 1316 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .