US-led Iraq resolution can’t pass UN: Russia
By Deborah Seward
MOSCOW: A US-backed resolution that opens the way for war against Iraq has no chance of passing the UN Security Council, a top Russian diplomat said Monday.
“As before, this draft has no chances for passage by the Security Council,” Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov was quoted as saying Monday by the Interfax news agency. “We think that no additional resolutions are necessary.”
Fedotov indicated that Russia supported France’s call for a ministerial meeting at the UN Security Council to discuss the latest report by chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.
“This report will touch on the further program of the work of the international inspectors and will indicate their key disarmament tasks,” ITAR-Tass quoted Fedotov as saying. “We hoped it will still be possible to settle the situation on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions and by means of further inspections.”
Russia has joined France and Germany in actively opposing US-led efforts to gain Security Council approval for a resolution that would open the way for war.
After an emergency summit Sunday in the Azores with allies Britain, Spain and Portugal, President Bush made it clear that diplomatic efforts would end by Monday night.
Fedotov said Sunday that there was no justification for ending weapons inspections in Iraq, and suggested that at most Russia could accept a “compression” of a guideline for future inspections that were to be laid out later this week by chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix. —AP