Russia demands the bodies of the Russian embassy officers killed in Baghdad should be returned to Moscow. The brutal murder of the four Russian diplomats has received an extensive coverage all over the world. Many common people and officials from a variety of countries in the world sent their condolences to Moscow in connection with the tragedy. The tragic event also stirred up a discussion regarding the responsibility of coalition forces in Iraq. Many Russian politicians started using the word “occupation” in their remarks.
The bodies of the four Russian diplomats slain in Baghdad have not been found yet. The claim to return the bodies back to Russia has been set forth not only to the Russian special services in Iraq, but to the US-led coalition forces and local Iraqi authorities, the Vremya Novostei newspaper wrote.
Russia has all legal rights to set claims to the USA. The UN Security Council approved a resolution in June 2004 according to which the coalition troops must take all necessary measures to maintain security and stability in Iraq. In other words, 180,000 military men, 127,000 of which are US soldiers currently deployed in Iraq, are supposed to guarantee security to employees of international diplomatic missions.
Russia demanded an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council yesterday and submitted a special resolution on the agenda of the session. Many observers believed that the document from Russia would be based on harsh criticism of the US-led policies in Iraq. However, the resolution had no attacks against the USA at all.
In the document, Russian officials urged the international community to denounce the murder of the Russian diplomats and render assistance to the Iraqi government in providing security for diplomatic corps. “There could not be any attacks in the document. Such resolutions are not supposed to stir up a fight, they are meant to reach a consensus on a problem,” an anonymous politician said. Nevertheless, other members of the UN Security Council asked for extra time to study the draft resolution in detail.
Russia’s draft resolution has no financial claims against the coalition troops. Officials from the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs believe, however, that such claims can arise, albeit not from Russia as a state but from the relatives of the killed diplomats.
The relatives of the deceased Russian diplomats do not believe that they have been killed, the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper wrote. The family of one of the slain embassy officers, Anatoli Smirnov, is still living in hope. “I don’t believe that my son has been killed. No one has seen that. Our friends watched the terrible video but they did not see him in it. There are no dead bodies, there is no Anatoli’s body either. As long as things stay like that me and my friends believe that he is alive. He is going to turn 33 on July 10,” Anatoli Smirnov’s mother said crying.
In the meantime, Russia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov told journalists that the Russian authorities were doing everything possible to help the relatives receive and bury the bodies of their loved ones.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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