Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003
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By Vladimir Radyuhin
The former Russian Prime Minister, Yevgeny Primakov, paid a lightening visit to Baghdad on Sunday, to discuss the Iraq crisis with Mr. Hussein. In a statement issued today, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Mr. Primakov had gone to Baghdad on the President's instructions "to explain the position of the Russian Federation on the Iraq question and receive assurance that Iraq will strictly fulfill U.N. Security resolution 1441, completely and unconditionally cooperate with international inspectors.
"The statement said that the Iraqi leader had promised Mr. Primakov that Baghdad would not hinder international inspectors in their work. Mr. Primakov returned to Moscow on Sunday and later that day Mr. Putin dispatched his Chief-of-Staff, Alexander Voloshin, to Washington for talks with the U.S. leadership.
Agency reports said Mr. Voloshin would call on the U.S. President, George W. Bush, and hold talks with the security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, the Secretary of State, Colin Powel, and other members of the U.S. administration. The Russian Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, will go to China on Tuesday to discuss the Iraqi crisis. Russia and China have consistently opposed military action against Iraq and insisted a peaceful solution be found to the standoff.
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