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International

Lindh Knew About Russian Dumping

Published torsdag 4 februari 2010 kl 10.02
A Russian submarine near Helsinki

Updated 15:10

Former Foreign Minister Anna Lindh knew about the secret dumping of radioactive and chemical waste in Swedish waters by the Russians and wanted a public inquiry.

The former advisor to Lindh, Sven Olof Pettersson told SVT that he clearly remembers Anna Lindh's anger at the reports, but the Ministry of Defence replied that it would be too difficult and too costly to find the chemical waste without knowing its exact location.

Lindh was later assassinated by a mentally unstable man in 2003.

Swedish secret service agent Donald Forsberg told SVT's Uppdrag Granskning programme that the Russians unloaded the chemicals near the island of Gotland between the years 1989 and 1992. "They just sailed out at night and dumped in two areas," he told the television programme. The Social Democrats ruled until 1991 when the Moderate party came into power till they lost at the 94 election.

The archives of the Swedish military intelligence service MUST house three separate secret reports that describe the night-time sinking of barrels with chemical weapons and radioactive waste .

On Thursday, the current Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, who led the Moderates in the early 90's, said he did not want to comment further on the reports, until he had heard from representatives of the government at the time, regarding why it decided not to act on the information.

A proposed gas pipeline from Russia will not pass through the area in question off the coast of Gotland, though there are plans to lay a fiberoptic cable nearby.

On Thursday, a leading Russian scientist told Swedish Radio News that he does not believe that any nuclear waste was dumped in the early 90-ies. Aleksej Jablokov is currently part of the leadership of the Green Party in the opposition in Russia.

But for a few years in the beginning of the 90-ies he was advisor to the then President Jeltsin on environmental issues and he lead an inquiry into the dumping of nuclear waste in the Arctic Ocean and the Western pacific.

This is a big problem according to Jablokov. But when it comes to the Baltic Sea, only smaller quantities of waste with low level of radioactivity was dumped, but that was back in the 50-ies and 60-ies, according to Aleksej Jablokov.

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