Russia to Vote Against Ultimatum-like and Unrealizable Resolution

Russia will vote against a resolution that would impose on Iraq "ultimatum-like and unrealizable conditions," Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said Monday after the ceremony of being granted the degree of an honorary doctor of Moscow State Linguistic University.

He stressed that Russia spoke for the political way of settling the situation around Iraq. In Russia's opinion, an additional UN Security Council resolution is not needed for that, Ivanov said. The minister emphasized that a forceful settlement of the situation would "turn out into a massacre." This would lead to victims not only among Iraqi civilians, but also among the population of the country's neighboring regions. Besides, a military action is fraught with "economic, political and other consequences." That's why "we speak for the political settlement of the situation in Iraq," Ivanov said.

The minister added that only international inspectors were able to give an answer to the question whether Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and means of their delivery. He reminded the audience that their work must proceed on the basis of the unanimously adopted Security Council resolution 1441.

The day before yesterday, Igor Ivanov pointed out, the IAEA and UNMOVIC heads, speaking at a regular SC meeting, said they would be "able to answer the question" if Iraq had WMD.

UNMOVIC head Hans Blix added that it would take the inspectors another few months. The minister said in conclusion that now there had appeared an opportunity to release tension as regards the situation around Iraq.