Vladimir Putin: You have been presented with the tentative results of the Prosecutor General’s investigation into the causes of the sinking of the Kursk nuclear submarine. I would like to stress that these findings are of an interim character and do not yet provide the answer to the cause and to what has actually happened.
All lines of enquiry continue to be explored, including the theory of a collision between our submarine and an unidentified submerged object. At the same time, it has to be admitted that to date no objective data have been obtained to confirm that theory, in spite of the huge amount of work done.
However, from the materials presented by the investigating team we can draw conclusions with a fair degree of certainty about the quality of preparation for the exercises, their organization and the organization of the search and rescue operation. I would like to stress that these materials are not sufficient for us to establish a causal connection between the actions of the officials concerned, and the dire consequences. But we are able to assess the performance of officials. So I ask the Defence Minister, the Chief of the General Staff and the Commander in Chief of the Navy to present proposals that address not only the issues related to personnel, but above all a system of measures aimed at upgrading the activities of the Navy in general.