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Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has said sooner or later the USA will be seeking to legitimize its presence in Iraq in the form of a UN Security Council resolution. Russia will oppose a resolution that directly or indirectly legitimizes the military operation and a US-style post- war structure for Iraq. It will primarily be looking to ensure that any resolution will be connected with preserving Russia's economic interests in Iraq. The following is an excerpt from the report published in the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta on 24 March. Subheadings have been inserted editorially:
Even though the war in Iraq is already in full swing, the Americans are thinking about how to make this operation legitimate (albeit retroactively) or at least ...
... Igor Ivanov, said: "Russia will be working very closely on all subsequent UN Security Council resolutions connected with Iraq and will oppose the direct or indirect legitimization both of the military operation and of subsequent steps which would enshrine Iraq's post- war structure, American-style."
Not too late to stop war
Igor Ivanov explained last weekend the nuances of Russia's position on the Iraq issue. He categorically disagreed with the view that it is already too late to make attempts to halt the war and return to the political and diplomatic route for resolving the problem of Iraq's disarmament.
First, the minister believes, it is scarcely possible to claim that the Americans will achieve victory within the next few ...... Solana and Gen Clark) personally told Ivanov that the operation would last a week at most. But in fact the war lasted 78 days...
The minister voiced the conviction that the political factor could be required in the very near future. After all, everyone ...... form of complex diplomatic work. On the Russian side it will be aimed at enshrining our economic interests in Iraq in subsequent UN Security Council resolutions. It is a case of the new regime's fulfilment of the contracts concluded under Saddam Husayn and of the payment of Iraq's 8bn debt currency not specified to Russia. Ivanov is certain that the Russian side will have a hard struggle for its interests to be enshrined clearly in new Security Council resolutions concerning post- war Iraq.
So, the US policy to legitimize its own actions in Iraq is the most vulnerable today. And Russia will seek to use that vulnerability. Perhaps Moscow will agree to legitimization in exchange for confirmation of its contracts or for the transformation of part of Iraq into a Russian protectorate. In any case, the political haggling over Iraq in the UN Security Council and between Moscow and Washington will be continued.
The United States has provided the Security Council members - so far only at working level - with versions of a humanitarian resolution on Iraq. The Russian side is conducting consultations with the United States on this issue, which, in Ivanov's opinion, is yet more evidence that the Americans ...... cannot do without the UN Security Council now.
Copyright Nezavisimaya Gazeta, and BBC 2003. For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement .