The Soviet Union on Wednesday denounced as a "provocative fabrication" allegations that recent high radioactivity levels in Europe may have been caused by a Soviet nuclear plant accident.
The reaction, from the state-run news agency Tass, was prompted by statements by European officials and scientists that the increased radiation, detected in five West European countries in early March, probably came from the Soviet Union.
West Germany said the radioactivity probably came from a nuclear power plant accident, but the Soviet Union denied there had been any recent accidents at its nuclear reactors.
On Wednesday, Tass said, "Charges in the West that a certain increase in airborne radiation detected there was due to a radioactive leak in the Soviet Union are utterly groundless and bear the hallmark of a provocative fabrication."
In Bonn, West German officials said Wednesday that the Soviet denial did not change their opinion.