Moscow Clarifies Its Position As to When UN Sanctions Against Baghdad Can Be Lift

A resolution of the UN Security Council lifting sanctions against Iraq can only be adopted on the basis of an official conclusion of the UNMOVIC and IAEA inspectors, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko told reporters. "As soon as we receive an official conclusion of the inspectors, the United Nations Security Council will take a resolution annulling the sanctions," said Yakovenko.

Alexander Yakovenko recalled that Russia came out for removing the sanctions from Iraq as soon as possible, but "on the basis of fulfilment of all resolutions of the UN Security Council concerning the disarmament of Iraq." Alexander Yakovenko underscored that "the condition for annulling the sanctions against Iraq must be clarity with as to whether that country has weapons of mass destruction or not." "The answer to this question can only be given by the UNMOVIC and IAEA inspectors authorised by the UN Security Council," concluded the official spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On Tuesday, Head of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission Hans Blix, will address the members of the UN Security Council. According to UNMOVIC spokesman Ewen Buchanan, the closed report by Hans Blix will concern the technical possibilities and the readiness of the Commission to resume its inspections.

Ewen Buchanan said that the UNMOVIC had preserved its base on Cyprus, and the experts and staff members, though they left for their countries after the international inspections stopped on the eve of the war in Iraq, remain staff members of the United Nations.

After the annulment of the inspections, the activity of the UNMOVIC did not stop. It continued its analytical work, studied the documents received in Iraq and prepared reports on the inspections it had made, said Ewen Buchanan.

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