Wednesday, Mar 19, 2003
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By Vladimir Radyuhin
``Moscow believes there are no grounds for stating that a political-diplomatic solution to the situation in Iraq has no chances and that the time for diplomacy is over,'' a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said. The spokesman, Alexander Yakovenko, said the Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, would travel to New York to attend a U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss the international inspectors' report on progress in disarming Iraq on Wednesday.``It is clear from the UNMOVIC head, Hans Blix's report that much has been done in this area and it is important to reaffirm the key role of the United Nations in resolving the Iraq problem,'' the spokesman said.
Russia's lower House of Parliament, the State Duma, on Tuesday decided to indefinitely put off ratification of a U.S.-Russia nuclear arms treaty because of the U.S. threat of war against Iraq. ``While the treaty is basically in Russia's interests, it would not be appropriate to approve it in this situation,'' said Mr. Sergei Shinkaryov, Deputy Chairman of the International Affairs Committee in the State Duma. Russian lawmakers had planned to submit the treaty, which calls for slashing of the Russian and U.S. nuclear arsenals from around 6,000 to 1,700-2,000 warheads, for a vote on Friday.
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