Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a joint news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in the Presidental Palace in Helsinki, Finland, August 21, 2019. Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva/via REUTERS
HELSINKI (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that a deadly blast at a military site in northern Russia earlier this month had taken place during a weapons system test.
Speaking alongside Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in Helsinki, Putin said that Moscow could not reveal everything about the blast because of its military nature.
He did not reveal which weapons system was being tested at the time of the blast.
The Russian leader stressed the need for a better system to exchange information on such accidents in the future.
Russia’s state nuclear agency said this month that five of its staff members were killed and three others injured in a blast involving “isotope power sources” that took place during a rocket test on a sea platform on Aug. 8.
Putin said this week that there was no risk of increased radiation levels following the blast.
Reporting by Olesya Astakhova and Anne Kauranen; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Andrew Osborn