Russia to Defend Its Legitimate Interests in Iraq, Igor Ivanov Says

Russia perceives the defense of its legitimate interests in Iraq as an important task. This was disclosed here today by Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, as he addressed a session of the foreign-and-defense policy council.

Russia's principled position on the Iraqi issue was never linked with Moscow's economic interests on Iraqi territory. Moreover, Russia rejected any possibility of bargaining with the United States in connection with such interests.

They used to discuss this issue in general; however, we could not and didn't bargain with the United States; nor did we strike any deals here, Ivanov stressed.

At the same time, Ivanov emphasized the fact that Russia didn't do anything unlawful in Iraq. Russian economic presence in Iraq doesn't differ from that of other countries in any way. Such economic presence must be respected in line with international law, Ivanov went on to say.

Ivanov admitted that some Russian companies might have violated some laws during their activities; however, such violations are something unimportant. Russia's principled line and main forms of cooperation unfailingly matched specific UN Security Council norms within the framework of the sanctions regime, Ivanov stressed.

Subsequent Iraqi developments are highly important, Ivanov told his audience. In his words, quite a few war hawks might decide to grab Iraqi natural resources, after bombing that country. Such forces now claim that all Iraqi resources belong to its people; however, they will, most likely, try and wax rich with the help of such resources in the future, Ivanov added.