Boris Yeltsin’s special envoy to the Middle East, Viktor Posuvalyuk, met with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad January 3 to discuss Russian-Iraqi relations and the situation in the Persian Gulf, said a Russian foreign ministry official. The official, Sergei Kirpichenko, said Iraq had taken positive steps since August 1995 to comply with U.N. sanctions imposed after Baghdad’s 1991 invasion of Kuwait. Kirpichenko suggested that the U.N. Security Council should now be inclined to relax the sanctions and emphasized the hardships sanctions have created for Iraq’s civilian population. It was reported simultaneously January 4 that Russia’s Ministry for Emergency Situations, together with the Russian oil company LukOil, had delivered 30 tons of humanitarian aid to Iraq by way of Oman. (1) Russian oil companies have made clear that they intend to do business with Iraq following removal of the sanctions.
Federation Council Approves Deployment of Bosnia Force.