Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 34

Meanwhile, following a barrage of harsh criticism of the U.S. position on Iraq, including several by the Russian president, officials in Moscow seemed over the past few days to be moderating their rhetoric. That tendency was evident in Yeltsin’s state-of-the-nation speech on February 17 (see yesterday’s Monitor), but was most amply demonstrated in a television interview given by Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov that same day. The Russian diplomat insisted that Washington and Moscow are working together as partners toward a solution to the crisis in the Persian Gulf. He also emphasized that Iraq must comply fully with all UN resolutions, including those which guarantee UN weapons inspectors unrestricted access to sites in Iraq. Ivanov appeared also to defend UNSCOM, the UN agency overseeing the weapons inspections and the object of much criticism in Baghdad. (ORT, February 17) Moscow has itself echoed some of that criticism, and it remains to be seen whether Ivanov’s remarks are a signal that the Kremlin is now prepared to stand behind the beleaguered UN agency. The United States has strongly supported UNSCOM.

Russian Firms Did Negotiate with Iraq Over Germ Weapons Equipment.