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MOSCOW: Russia has challenged the findings of an international probe into the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan.
The final report on a multinational investigation into the March sinking of the Cheonan, released by the South Korean Ministry of Defence on Monday, blamed the explosion that tore the warship in half on a North Korean torpedo. Of the 104 crewmembers, 46 lost their lives.
However, the report prepared by experts from South Korea, the U.S., Australia, the U.K. and Sweden did not include the findings of a separate Russian probe into the incident.
Russian experts, who visited South Korea in June, could not draw “definitive conclusions” on the causes of the Cheonan sinking, a senior Russian Navy officer told the Interfax news agency.
Another Russian military source said earlier the Russian experts did not think the evidence against North Korea was convincing enough.
The Russian Navy said it was not planning to release details of its probe, but some South Korean opposition papers said the Russian experts had concluded it was more likely a mine rather than a torpedo sank the ship. According to the Russian report as quoted by Korean media, the Cheonan first hit the seabed and probably got entangled in a fishnet, which could have dredged up the mine that blew it up.
Moscow has neither confirmed nor denied the media reports whereas Seoul said it had never received any official results of the Russian probe.
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