Work has begun to unload the cargo ship, The Kaunas, which sank in the River Neva on August 16th. There are about two tonnes of metallurgical products on board the vessel.
The team responsible for dealing with the situation has reported that the work will be carried out during the daytime and will last for several days.
The next stage of the operation will be to raise the stricken ship.
Built in 1957, The Kaunas hit a support of a St. Petersburg bridge during the night of August 16th and sank to a depth of 11.3 metres in the River Neva.
The ship blocked a channel, leaving shipping traffic on the Neva at a temporary standstill.
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