Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 93

Following a meeting on May 9 between Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov and Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz, Russia’s Foreign Ministry released a statement claiming that Iraq is cooperating with the UN on disarmament and that the UN should therefore consider expediting the removal of sanctions on Iraq and prolonging by six months the Iraqi-UN "oil for food" deal. That arrangement, which has permitted Baghdad to sell $2 billion in crude to buy humanitarian supplies for its population, is set to expire on June 7, and can only be extended if the UN Security Council acts on the recommendation of Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The visit to Moscow by Aziz is part of Iraq’s effort to shore up diplomatic support for an extension of the deal. Russia, along with France and China, have been most sympathetic to Iraq’s demands, and Primakov on May 9 backed Baghdad’s request that the amount of oil Iraq is permitted to sell under the "oil for food" arrangement be doubled. (Interfax, AP, Reuter, May 9)

Regional Security Planning with NATO Countries.