Speaker Seleznev states that American position on Iraq differs from the Russian position

In reply to questions of St. Petersburg's journalists speaker of the State Duma (the lower house of the Russian parliament) Gennady Seleznev stated that the American position on Iraq differed from that of Russia.

He pointed out that the Americans "continued to threaten the world by their readiness in any case to deliver a strike against Iraq." According to Seleznev, that position "differed from the Russian position, at least from the position of the State Duma." The speaker of the lower house of parliament recalled that the State Duma adopted special statements on that matter, dispatched them to UN, attempted to send to Iraq an independent commission subordinate only to the UN Secretary General.

Gennady Seleznev stated that at the moment Iraq was fulfilling all undertaken obligations. He indicated that if the work of the commission in Iraq "revealed nothing", then the UN Security Council would have to immediately raise the issue of lifting sanctions against Iraq.

Seleznev stressed that "talks brought up by Americans, the campaign waged against Saudi Arabia was making the Arab world feverish." According to him, specialists forecasted that in case of a strike against Iraq and Saudi Arabia the oil price in the world market would drop to $6-8 per barrel. Seleznev stated that it would mean the complete collapse of the Russian budget, Russian economy" and added that, possibly, "Pentagon was relying on such a variant." Gennady Seleznev was hopeful that the USA would limit itself only to public statements regarding a strike against Iraq and the situation around that country would not evolve into a war.

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