Federation Council Speaker, France, Germany and Belgium's Decision to Block War on Iraq

The decision of France, Germany and Belgium to block the US-led war on Iraq demonstrates their "common sense," initiated by Russia's stand on the issue, Chairman of the Federation Council Sergei Mironov said to the press on Tuesday.

"Russia's staunchest stand on Iraq is producing results. Russia believes that UN inspectors must be given an opportunity to complete their mission in Iraq," the Chairman of the Upper House of the Russian Parliament said.

At the same time Mironov noted that he thought some experts were wrong in saying that the refusal of some European countries to back up the US-led war on Iraq would split NATO.

"I don't believe NATO is nearing its end; it is not a split, but common sense," Mironov said.

According to him, it "would be strange if all the NATO member countries were unanimous in their decision on such a complicated issue as Iraq." "The US must not be allowed to act unilaterally with reference to expert conclusions, and take such important steps as the launch of wide-scale military operations," the Chairman of the Federation Council believes.

Mironov finds it necessary to entrust the UN and IAEA inspectors with "additional powers with the maximum cooperation from the Iraqi authorities." Then it will be possible to draw conclusions.

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