Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov yesterday conducted telephone conversations with his French and German counterparts - Dominique de Villepin and Joschka Fischer.
As the information and press department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported on Monday, during these conversations the ministers have "again confirmed the community of the positions of Russia, France and Germany on the Iraqi problem," in particular, "concerning the necessity of the continuation of the activity of the international inspections mission in Iraq on the basis of the UN Security Council's Resolutions 1284 and 1441." On Saturday, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs discussed the situation surrounding Iraq in telephone conversations with his counterparts in the countries which are not permanent members of the UN Security Council - Angola, Guinea, Cameroon, Mexico, Pakistan, Syria and Chile.
Igor Ivanov has confirmed the invariable position of Russia in favour of achieving an Iraqi settlement exclusively by peaceful political and diplomatic means. In this connection he drew the attention of his counterparts to the joint Russian-French-German memorandum of February 24.
This document, according to Igor Ivanov, contains concrete proposals on further measures to be taken to ensure the fulfilment of the appropriate resolutions of the UN Security Council on the basis of the continuation and intensification of the inspection process and making it more comprehensive.
Following the summit in Riga on November 30, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explained how the alliance could respond to Russia's 'new aggression against Ukraine.'