Russia Vows to Block Moves to Legitimize Iraq War
>Sat March 22, 2003 04:23 AM ET
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia vowed on Saturday to block any future moves by the United States and its allies to secure U.N. approval for the military action in Iraq and the post-war power structures they might set up there.
"Attempts will undoubtedly be made in the U.N. Security Council to find ways which would help legitimize the military operations and the post-war (political) set-up in Iraq," Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told a conference outside Moscow.
"We will follow this very carefully and we will not, of course, give legitimacy to this action in the Security Council," he said.
Russia, which has big economic and oil interests in Iraq, aligned itself with France and China in opposing U.S.-led military action to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and disarm Iraq of banned weapons that Washington says it is holding.
All three powers as permanent members of the Security Council have the right of veto.
Ivanov, speaking later to journalists, echoed President Vladimir Putin's call on Thursday for an immediate halt to the U.S. and British offensive.
"I don't think Iraq needs a democracy brought on the wings of Tomahawk (missiles)," Ivanov said.
"Iraq is a wise nation and the Iraqis can build their future themselves. Therefore Russia once again calls for a halt to the war and a return to political attempts to find a solution," he said.
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