Russia’sForeign Ministry has strongly rebuffed a bill passed on June 4by the Duma that calls for Russia to restore full commercial relationswith Iraq despite international sanctions still in effect againstthe Baghdad regime. The bill, sponsored by the ultra-nationalistLiberal Democratic Party and passed by a vote of 289-20, wouldhave Moscow resume the purchase of oil and petroleum productsfrom Iraq, as well as supply to Iraq equipment and spare partsfor joint projects suspended as a result of the internationalsanctions. A Russian Foreign Ministry official, commenting onthe bill later that day, emphasized that Moscow had voted forthe UN Security Council resolutions on sanctions against Iraqand continued to support their implementation. He expressed hopethat Russia’s upper house of parliament would show more wisdomwhen it considers the bill, and made clear that the executivebranch will veto the bill in the event that the Federation Councildoes pass it. (Interfax, June 4)
That same message was repeated on a more official basis yesterday,when Foreign Ministry spokesman Valery Nesterushkin told reportersthat Russia is bound by its constitution to observe the internationalsanctions against Iraq, and that Moscow intends to "to adherestrictly to this course into the future." (Interfax, June5)
Russia Reiterates Reservations About NATO Enlargement.