Russian Audit Chamber: War in Iraq Can Affect Russia's Economy

Head of the Russian Audit Chamber Sergei Stepashin called for more efficient use of budget means in connection with the war in Iraq.

"With due account taken of worsening conditions for the development of Russia's economy, the Russian Audit Chamber intends to take measures to use the budget means and federal property more efficiently," a statement by Mr. Stepashin says.

According to Sergei Stepashin, "the Russian Audit Chamber has already estimated the consequences of the war in Iraq for Russia's national economy." "At present, it is important for the government to closely follow the fluctuations of oil prices and to make amendments to the indices of the budget revenues as well as to the financial reserve," the statement stresses.

Sergei Stepashin sharply censured the military operation against Iraq. According to him, "the military operation undermines the existing system of the international security based on the UN and the UN Security Council decisions." "This time the US has fully ignored them." Head of the Russian Audit Chamber said that "it is important to do our best to avoid civilian casualties, to preserve the infrastructure as well as ancient monuments that are not only Iraqi heritage but the heritage of the whole world." It is also important, Mr. Stepashin said, to "prevent a conflict between the Moslem world and the rest of the world because it poses a threat to mankind." "The U.S. bombardment of Iraq should not suppress the common sense of the anti-Iraqi coalition member-states," the statement says. Anyway, it is of a temporary nature. But the international anti-terrorist coalition set up because it was really needed must be strengthened. As before, there must be a community of interests aimed at the elimination of a real threat to the whole mankind that is transnational terrorism.