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    REPAIRS TO RUSSIAN FLAGSHIP PETER THE GREAT TO BE COMPLETED IN LESS THAN TWO MONTHS

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    OSLO, April 4, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Repairs to the Russian flagship Peter the Great will be completed in a month or a month-and-a-half, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov told reporters during a stopover in Norway, en route to the United States.

    Asked why the nuclear-powered cruiser had been put into the dock, Mr. Ivanov said that the current repairs were a routine matter, not an emergency. He also denied allegations that the vessel was operated by an incompetent crew. According to him, the Peter the Great's present crew is highly professional, and do not need to be changed.

    Earlier, media circulated reports that the flagship was in bad repairs and that that there were fears of possible radiation leaks. Russian Navy commanders dismissed the reports as false.

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