Russian Senator: Moscow Does Not Wish Defeat to the US in Its War Against Iraq

Russia does not want the United States to be defeated in its war against Iraq. Mikhail Margelov, Vice Speaker of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the head of the international committee of the Federation Council (the upper house of the Russian parliament), said this in a conversation with Russian reporters on Thursday.

Mikhail Margelov is taking part in the spring session of PACE in Strasbourg, discussing the Iraqi crisis on Thursday.

According to Margelov, there are at least three reasons why Russia does not wish defeat to the United States in its war against Iraq. The first one is that the longer the war lasts, the more material and human resources it requires and the greater is the threat to the whole world.

The second cause, according to Margelov, is that the failures of the coalition, which is waging the war in Iraq, will deteriorate the Russian-American relations more and more every day. "This is what we do not need at all in any case," underscored Margelov.

The third cause, said Margelov, is that "we do not wish victory to Saddam Hussein in this war." Let us be honest and say openly: "We really do not wish defeat to the United States; we wish this war to end as soon as possible, and we repeat our position of principle. A peaceful settlement must return as soon as possible into the framework of the United Nations," pointed out Mikhail Margelov.

Answering the question of RIA Novosti about the role of the Council of Europe in solving the problems of humanitarian aid to Iraq, Mikhail Margelov said that the Council of Europe could do much to return the discussion of the Iraqi crisis into the framework of the United Nations. "And this appeal is the main one in the resolution which has been drafted for the debates in PACE on the Iraqi crisis," he said.

The Council of Europe, in the opinion of Margelov, can do much with the aim of taking under its control the monuments of history and culture when peace is established in Iraq. In this sense, the Council of Europe has its humanitarian programmes that can be used also in Iraq, pointed out PACE's Vice Speaker.

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