The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Russia snubs US on Iraq

Moscow, Oct. 22 (Reuters): Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov criticised a proposed US resolution on Iraq today, saying it did not meet Moscow’s requirements and dealing a hefty blow to Washington’s efforts to break a diplomatic deadlock.

“The American draft resolution, which was presented yesterday, does not, for the moment, meet the criteria which the Russian side had previously outlined and stands by now,” Ivanov was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

The latest text of Washington’s draft resolution, to be presented to the UN Security Council, drops both of its most troublesome points — explicit authorisation to use force against Iraq and a proposal for inspectors from the five veto-wielding council members to accompany UN arms inspectors.

But it still provides some legal cover to attack Iraq with a warning of serious consequences if Baghdad obstructs inspections, citing its breaches of earlier resolutions.

Interfax said Ivanov told reporters Moscow was “ready to work with different members of the UN Security Council on a draft resolution which would ensure the effective work of inspectors, be realistic and not support provisions which pave the way for automatic use of force”.

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