BAGHDAD MEETINGS

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BAGHDAD MEETINGS

Parlamentskaya Gazeta, March 12, 2003, EV

America’s attack on Iraq will be “an act of naked aggression,” Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznev said in Baghdad.

Before his departure from the Iraqi capital on Monday, he confirmed that Russia rejects a military solution to the Iraqi crisis and would use its veto in the UN Security Council in a vote on the draft resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq. In Baghdad, Gennady Seleznev met with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

“Russia is satisfied that Iraq is complying with the relevant UN Security Council resolution. There are no grounds to adopt new, tougher resolutions, especially a resolution authorizing military attacks,” Seleznev said after his meeting with the Iraqi president. According to Seleznev, “the Americans simply need to stop. They’ve done a great deal already. As a result of their military pressure, Iraq is now actively cooperating with the weapons inspectors.”

We need to apply our best efforts to persuade the United States of the needs to use “peaceful reasoning” to settle the Iraqi problem, Gennady Seleznev said in a meeting with Saadoun Hammadi, the speaker of the Iraqi parliament. According to Seleznev, in the UN Security Council Russia would definitely object to any resolution approving the use of force against Iraq.

On his part, Hammadi stressed that Iraq is fulfilling the disarmament commitments it assumed in compliance with UN Resolution No. 1441, whereas the U.S. plans prove that “establishing control over oil, rather than finding weapons of mass destruction” is America’s true goal.

AT A PACE SESSION

Parlamentskaya Gazeta, March 12, 2003, EV

A meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has confirmed that Russia will resume cooperation with the PACE in the sphere of observance of human rights in Chechnya. This was announced by Mikhail Margelov, PACE Deputy Speaker, on behalf of the Russian Federal Assembly. Thus, our country has once again shown its goodwill, since the unconstructive position and biased views of PACE observers led to an acute conflict at the PACE winter session in Strasbourg.

It was then that Lord Judd, who actively opposed holding a referendum in Chechnya, faced disagreement with his position on the part of the majority of PACE participants, and was compelled to resign as chairman of the Duma-PACE working group and the chief rapporteur on Chechnya. In response, members of the Russian Duma delegation in Strasbourg questioned whether the continued existence of the working group was expedient.

CHEMICAL WEAPONS TO BE DESTROYED ON THE BASIS OF NATIONAL IDENTITY

Izvestia, March 12, 2003, p. 3 EV

Russia is inviting its foreign partners involved in financing the Russian chemical disarmament program to fund construction of specific facilities for destruction of chemical weapons. Some of the donor states are being requested to assume the financial burden of creating industrial zones at the facilities being built for the destruction of toxic agents: the United States is being asked to fund the Shchuchye plant in the Kurgan region, Germany – the Kambarka plant in Udmurtia, Italy – the Pochepa plant (Bryansk region), Canada – the Leonidovka plant (Penza region), Britain – the Maradykovka plant (Kirov region). At the same time, France may fund the project for transporting chemical weapons supplies from Kizner (Udmurtia) to the Shchuchye plant, according to the State Disarmament Commission. Contributions from other Western states to eliminating Russia’s stockpiles of toxins require additional revision.

NEW FACES AMONG LEADERS OF UNITED RUSSIA

Izvestia, March 12, 2003, p. 3 EV

Oleg Morozov, leader of the Russian Regions Duma faction, said yesterday that Governor Alexander Khloponin of the Krasnoyarsk territory may become a member of the supreme council of United Russia, which is headed by Boris Gryzlov. According to other sources in the leadership of United Russia, Dmitry Rogozin, the chairman of the Duma international affairs committee, who has quit the People’s Party of Russia and joined United Russia, may become a member of the supreme council and head the council of the party’s supporters.

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