MOSCOW CRITICIZES IRAQ.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 204
Iraq’s ambassador to Moscow was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry yesterday, where he was reportedly criticized for Baghdad’s recent defiance of the UN and told that Iraq should fulfill all its commitments under UN resolutions. The reprimand follows a decision by the Iraqi parliament to freeze relations with the UN special commission overseeing the country’s disarmament and a subsequent move by the government in Baghdad to ban Americans on the UN weapons inspection team. The import of the Russian warning to Iraq was blunted, however, by Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, who said in Cairo yesterday that Russia is nevertheless "not interested in tightening sanctions against Iraq and comes out against force methods to be used against Baghdad." (Itar-Tass, October 30) The U.S. and others on the Security Council have objected strongly to the Iraqi actions and warned that Baghdad’s defiance could provoke a military response. (Reuter, October 30) Russia has been among Iraq’s most steadfast backers in the UN and has repeatedly urged the early lifting of sanctions on Baghdad. Russian companies are reported to have signed numerous lucrative contracts with Iraq, particularly in the energy sector, that can be activated only after the lifting of sanctions.