The war in Iraq will not have a serious impact on the Russian environment. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced by Deputy Russian Minister for Natural Resources Kirill Yankov at a briefing today. 'We must not dramatise the situation, air pollutants coming from Iraq will be minimal,' he emphasised. He said that the main danger is the possible fall of soot which would cause ice to melt faster in mountainous areas. The flight of birds would not affect the transfer of dangerous chemical compounds, only microscopic elements may be transferred in this way.
However, the Russian Ministry for Natural Resources is concerned about the situation in Iraq according to Mr Yankov. In his opinion there are three factors which could cause problems for the ecosystem of Iraq and neighbouring countries: oil fires, the use of weapons containing enriched uranium and also the use of chemical weapons. The ministry intends to make proposals on how to minimise the ecological effects of the war in Iraq to the international organisations involved.