Vice-President of Iraq Taha Yassin Ramadan to meet Russian Leadership

Vice-President of Iraq Taha Yassin Ramadan who arrived in Moscow on Tuesday is to meet on Wednesday with Russia's leadership. As the RIA Novosti correspondent reports, his meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Igor Ivanov will take place in the morning, and talks with Prime-Minister Mikhail Kasyanov are scheduled for to-night. The Iraqi Vice-President also counts on meeting head of the Russian state Vladimir Putin. As Ambassador of Iraq in Moscow Mozher al-Doury told RIA Novosti on the day before, "it is the first visit of such a dignitary the Iraqi leadership to Moscow after a blockade was imposed on country". In his opinion, "it will give a considerable impetus to Iraq's relations with Russia". On the eve of his trip to Moscow Yassin Ramadan met with Saddam Hussein, and the President of Iraq asked him to convey "the best wishes to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin". According to the Iraqi diplomat, the sides are planning to discuss the development of trade and economic relations between the countries, as well as soonest lifting of the UN economic sanctions against Iraq. Bagdad maintains that the blockade of Iraq has completely exhausted itself, and only "the non-constructive stand taken by the USA in the UN Security Council hampers abrogation of the sanctions". In the Iraqi ambassador's opinion, a moment has come when all countries, Russia included, could use Article 50 of the UN Charter. This article empowers countries, suffering great economic losses as a result of international sanctions, to unilaterally extricate themselves from "such a situation". The ambassador recalled that in his recent speech in Bagdad Vice-President of Iraq Taha Yassin Ramadan had fully rejected latest resolution 1,284 of the UN Security Council because "it does not add anything new". In Ramadan's opinion, "it is impossible to reverse a clock, and Iraq cannot let foreign spies return to our country". On April 21 the Vice-President of Iraq will return to Bagdad.

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