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Russia: U.S. Still Studying Cause Of 'Seismic Event'

  • Oleh Oleh Zwadiuk

Washington, 29 August 1997 (RFE/RL) - The White House says the U.S. has not yet reached a conclusion on what caused tremors 12 days ago in the vicinity of Russia's far northern nuclear test range in Novaya Zemlya.

White House spokesman Joseph Lockhart said yesterday the U.S. is aware of what he called a "seismic event" that took place there August 16. But he added the incident is still being reviewed.

Lockhart said U.S. officials are currently "in conversation" with the Russians but he declined to discuss details.

Lockhart spoke with reporters on Martha's Vineyard, an island in the North Atlantic state of Massachusetts where President Bill Clinton is on vacation.

In Washington, a spokesman for the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Bob Waters, said earlier yesterday the U.S. was seeking clarification from Russia.

And Defence Department spokeswoman Queenie Byars also said the U.S. was aware that a seismic event with explosive characteristics occurred but that it was not yet able to determine whether it was a nuclear test.