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Russian World War I submarine lost near Sweden may be handed over to Russia — lawmaker

May 05, 2016, 16:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW MOSCOW May, 5. /TASS

In July 2015 Swedish divers discovered a World War I submarine lying on the seabed which is said to be Russia’s submarine The Som, lost in 1916

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Som submarine

Som submarine


MOSCOW, May 5. /TASS/. A Russian submarine, which sank near Sweden back in 1916, may be handed over to a museum in St. Petersburg, the chairman of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachyov, said after a meeting with Swedish ambassador Peter Ericson on Thursday.

"We’ve come close to agreement to the effect once the submarine has been examined it may be taken to a naval museum in St. Petersburg," Kosachyov said. "I believe it would be a symbolic gesture and an act of historical reconciliation."

In July 2015 Swedish divers discovered a World War I submarine lying on the seabed. Swedish Defense Ministry specialists later said it was Russia’s submarine The Som, lost in 1916.

Several Som submarines were built in Russia in 1904-1906. They were replicas of the United States’ sub Fulton. The head ship in the series was launched in the United States in 1901. According to eye witness accounts, the Som submarine collided with the Swedish ship The Ingermanland and sank, killing all crew: two officers and sixteen men.

On May 4, 2016 the authorities of Stockholm county denied permission to the Swedish company Ocean X-team, which spotted the submarine to recover the vessel, because it cannot be regarded as no man’s item.

The Russian embassy in Stockholm appreciated the Swedish authorities’ decision. Embassy counselor Roman Mironov said it was the sole correct step to be taken in the given situation. Earlier, he said that the Russian embassy had presented to the Swedish authorities the arguments proving Russia’s rights to this submarine. Mironov said The Som had belonged to the Russian Empire. Russia has never ceded its rights to the submarine, so it cannot be regarded as an item without an owner. Russia believes that in this case there can be no any other legal interpretations, Mironov said earlier.

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