UN Believes Russian Plane Has Advantages for Inspections in Iraq

The UN believes that the Russian air reconnaissance plane proposed by Russia to the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) in Iraq has a number of advantages. UNMOVIC representative Ewen Buchanan told RIA Novosti on Thursday evening that the Russian proposal, which permanent representative of Russia to the UN Sergei Lavrov made public on January 29, is being considered.

Among the potential rivals of the Russian plane are the notorious US-proposed U-2 plane, the French Mirage and German pilotless reconnaissance planes. The U-2 plane flies at high altitudes but the Russian Antonov plane has an advantage of being able to fly at low altitudes, Buchanan pointed out. According to him, it is equipped with sensors of infrared radiation and can also fly at night.

The decision will be made on the basis of technical experts' recommendations, the UNMOVIC representative stated. He did not point out the date of its adoption but said that no deadlines were established." Baghdad and international inspectors did not agree on using the US U-2 spy planes proposed by the Pentagon. This fact was assessed by the USA as still another proof of a serious violation by Iraq of UN Security Council Resolution 1441.

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