RESOLUTION OF THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL NO. 1546 AND RUSSIA’S INTERESTS IN IRAQ

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One of the main results of the G-8 summit in Sea Island is that the -8 leaders approved resolution No. 1546 regarding Iraq, which was passed by the UN Security Council. As is known, the leaders discussed the text of the resolution until voting. The US and the UK agreed with France’s amendment according to which the Iraqi government will be able to control the progress of military operations conducted by the international contingent in Iraq. The command of the coalition will have to send written reports on the plans of military operations to the Iraqi government. In addition, international troops will have to leave Iraq if such a request will be submitted by the Iraqi government. The mandate of the international contingent will expire when after the December 2005 election in Iraq.

The resolution also contains Russia’s proposal to organize an international conference regarding the situation in Iraq. The UN Security Council will consider this proposal if Iraq asks to. The Iraqi government will have the right to determine its political future, and control all financial and natural resources. At the same time, the Iraqi government will have to make every effort to create a democratic state in Iraq and protect political freedoms and human rights.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that “this is not just another document regarding Iraq. This is a change of the quality of the situation in Iraq, the quality of the presence of armed forces in this country. This is the change of the quality of the UN’s influence on the situation in Iraq.” According to Putin, the Iraqi government and the international community will have an opportunity to exert influence on the situation in Iraq.

In the meantime, Russia does not intend to send its troops to Iraq. It is not clear how Germany and France intend to participate in the operation. At the same time, Russia is interested in restoring the Iraqi economy. However, it should be noted that Russia evacuated its citizens from Iraq on the eve of the G-8 summit.

It is obvious that the situation will not stabilize right after the UN takes the operation under its control. The confrontation between clans and religious groups continues; attitude to foreign troops is negative. The leaders of the Iraqi resistance intend to organize terrorist acts against Arab regimes, which support the US and its allies. Kuwait, Jordan and Saudi Arabia are the most likely victims.

Substantial losses among servicemen of the coalition force in Iraq forced the leaderships of some nations to revise the advisability of their military presence in this country.

Following the footsteps of Spain and Norway, the government of Honduras withdrew its contingent from Iraq on May 27. In addition, the government of the Dominican Republic has announced a speedy withdrawal of its troops from Iraq. The leadership of the Bulgarian Armed Forces stated that participation of the Bulgarian servicemen in the operation in August-December 2004 will depend on the development of the situation in Iraq. The military political leadership of this country has already prepared a plan of an urgent evacuation of its military contingent (around 450 servicemen).

The command of the coalition states that the US contingent suffers substantial losses. In particular, almost 600 servicemen were killed and over 3,320 servicemen were injured from May 1, 2003 to late April 2004.

In addition, coalition troops have problems with ammunition supply. Almost all military vehicles are damaged.

The Pentagon has decided to make preparations for a call-up of 17,000 reservists. It is evident that this unpopular decision has been caused by the fact that only a few volunteer agreed to go to Iraq.

The Washington center of strategic and budget surveys reports that the US’ expenses on the military operation in Iraq will reach $100 billion in 2004, and $150 billion until the end of the next fiscal year.

Military experts say that monthly expenses on the operation will increase, which will force the Pentagon to conceal the actual sum of expenses until the presidential election (November 2004).

In other words, the situation in Iraq remains tense despite resolution No. 1546. Washington will continue carrying out its own policy in Iraq, spending huge sums of money. It is possible that it will manage to create a pro-US government and continue its economic expansion linked with oil production in Iraq. Russia does not intend to spend its money on military operations in this country. Iraq’s weakness is an advantage to Russia because this affects high oil prices. However, this cannot last for a long time. The influence of the US, the UK, France and Germany will increase. This means that Moscow must think how it can influence the situation in order to minimize its losses in the economic and geopolitical sector.

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