Today Iraqi Vice-Premier Tariq Aziz start his Moscow visit. The Iraqi official will have consultations with the Russian leadership on the issues of bilateral relations and discuss the situation around Iraq and in the Mideastern region as a whole.

Sources in Baghdad stress that Iraq expects from Russia, its major ally, assistance in priority issues for Iraq- the lifting of the UN sanctions and the inadmissibility of extending the anti-terrorist operation to Iraq.

People in Baghdad believe that a complete lifting of the sanctions is an alternative to the current regime of sanctions. At the same time, the Iraqi leadership is categorically against a return of UN observers to the country.

China stands next on Tariq Aziz's itinerary.

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