A high-ranking Russian diplomat said on December 24 that Moscow favors not only extending an "oil-for-food" deal by which Iraq has been permitted to sell oil on world markets, but also raising the quota on the amount of oil that Iraq is allowed to peddle. Under the Iraq-UN deal Baghdad is permitted to sell $2 billion worth of crude oil in the course of renewable, six-month periods. The diplomat’s remarks came despite charges by a UN team on December 19 that Iraq may be hiding more operational missiles than monitors had originally suspected. (Interfax, December 24)
Russian Bid for Dutch Aircraft Maker Gets a Boost.