MOSCOW, January 23. /TASS/. Argentine President Mauricio Macri has thanked Russian leader Vladimir Putin for Moscow’s assistance in the search for Argentina’s San Juan submarine.
"I would like to use this opportunity to thank you," he said. "After your telephone call, we received Russia’s assistance in the search and rescue operation following the loss of the San Juan submarine. It once again proves the love Russia shows to Argentina," Macri added.
Putin, in turn, said that Russia had also faced tragic incidents involving submarines. "We definitely understand the grief of the submariners’ families. It was only natural that we were willing to help in the search for the submarine," the Russian leader noted.
On Monday, Argentine parliament member Guillermo Carmona requested the country’s president discuss Russia’s future participation in the search operation with Putin. Carmona sent a message to Macri, asking him "to request Russia to continue assisting in the search for the San Juan submarine" during his official visit to Russia.
The lawmaker also expressed "common concern over the evident decrease" in the number of vessels taking part in the operation.
Argentine Navy Spokesman Enrique Balbi said earlier that it had not yet been announced when Russian experts would stop participating in the operation. At the same time, he admitted that international assistance could not go on forever. As rumors spread about the upcoming termination of Russia’s participation in the search operation, families of the submarine’s crew members prepared a letter requesting Russia to continue taking part in the operation.
Contact with the San Juan diesel-electric submarine, carrying 44 crew members, was lost on November 15, 2017. The Argentine Navy launched an intensive search and rescue operation on November 16. On November 30, the Argentine Navy declared that the rescue operation was over. However, the search for the submarine continues.
The Argentine president arrived in Moscow on Monday. On Tuesday, Putin and Marci are holding talks.