DIPLOMACY HAS A CHANCE

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DIPLOMACY HAS A CHANCE

Trud, January 17, 2003, EV

General Director of the IAAE Muhammed al-Baradei has visited Russia. The main point of his negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov was the conclusion that it is necessary to regulate the Iraqi issue by political-diplomatic methods on the basis of the resolution of the UN Security Council. The Russian foreign minister has stressed that unilateral military actions against Iraq without sanctions of the UN Security Council are able to lead to destabilization in the region and damage the global fight against international terrorism. Moscow believes that effective work of weapons inspectors is the only way out that will make it possible to overcome the current complicated situation and eventually lead to elimination of sanctions against Iraq. Igor Ivanov has noted that Russia has not seen any proofs that Iraq possesses mass destruction weapons. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov has gone to Baghdad to discuss the current situation with the Iraqi authorities.

Ivanov and Baradei also touched on the topic of the nuclear program of North Korea. The general director of the IAAE positively estimated Russia’s proposal for regulation of the situation. He also approved of the decision of Moscow to assign a special envoy to Pyongyang, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov, who will also conduct consultations in Beijing on his way to North Korea. The IAAE general director said that Russia may play the key role in the mediation between Pyongyang and the international community.

CHECHEN PRIME MINISTER REPRIMANDED

Trud, January 17, 2003, EV

The scandal surrounding the resignation of Chechen Finance Minister Sergei Abramov was continued on January 16. Chief of the administration of the Chechen Republic Ahmad Kadyrov announced a strict reprimand to Chechen Prime Minister Mikhail Babich and appointed Eli Isaev finance minister despite protests of the Chechen Prosecutor’s Office.

According to Kadyrov’s decree, Babich was reprimanded for violation of labor discipline: as is known, Babich has severely protested against Kadyrov’s decree on dismissing Abramov and appointing Isaev on the position of finance minister. The prime minister issued his own decree, by which he appointed Abdula Ibragimov to this position. According to Babich, Isaev has neither experience nor education for such a job.

Meanwhile, neither Kadyrov nor Russian Presidential Envoy for the Southern Federal District Viktor Kazantsev view this situation as a conflict. “It is just poor coordination,” Kazantsev has said.

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