St. Petersburg is completing operations to clear the waterway of the Neva River blocked by the Kaunas dry-cargo ship, which sank in the Neva on August 16th.
As head of the Russian Transport Ministry's department for internal waterways Vladimir Krivoshei has said, last night specialists finally managed to saw off the deck superstructure of the dry-cargo vessel and now the depth above the Kaunas ship is sufficient to resume navigation. One of the deck fragments was lifted last night and the second will be raised today.
According to the department head, it is possible to say with confidence that on the night of August 22-23 navigation on the Neva River will be restored. This night 40-45 vessels are expected to pass through the waterway of the Neva River.
On Friday St. Petersburg authorities intend to start unloading the dry-cargo vessel, which has about 2,000 tons of metal rolled stock on its board. This operation will take 5-6 days. After that, the vessel-lifting operation is expected to begin.
Built in 1957, the Kaunas dry-cargo ship (93.9 meters long and 13.2 meters wide, with the draught of 4.8 meters), which belongs to the Volga River Shipping Company, struck on August 16 a pier of the Liteiny drawbridge and sank in the Neva River at a depth of 11.3 meters. The vessel blocked the waterway, which resulted in the temporary stoppage of navigation on the Neva River.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969