Russian Permanent Representative to UN thinks threat of war in Iraq remains

Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Sergei Lavrov thinks the threat of war erupting in Iraq remains. In his words, at the Thursday UN Security Council session on Iraq Russia confirmed its stand that it was international inspectors who were to assess the content of the Iraq-submitted weapons declaration. It is they who also are to reveal possible violations of the WMD nonproliferation regime.

According to the diplomat, Russia deems it necessary to support the international inspectors in their work and not hinder them by unilateral interpretations of some or other provisions of UN Security Council resolution 1441 on Iraq.

The permanent representative noted a "rather balanced" estimate of the Iraq-submitted declaration by Head of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission Hans Blix, who, in particular, said that "for the time being, one can be sure neither of Iraq telling the truth nor lying." In Blix's words, he knows no facts certifying to Iraq violating UN Security Council resolutions, and he "would be grateful" if he is provided with such information.

On the whole, in Lavrov's estimate, the threat of war erupting in Iraq remains; however, in his opinion, the most important thing is that efforts by a number of countries have made it possible to postpone the menace.

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