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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Applauds Ivanov for Job Well Done




President Boris Yeltsin praised Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, the man who led Russia's verbal offensive against U.S.-British air strikes on Iraq, saying on Monday that he had established an international profile.


Russian news agencies given access to a meeting between the two in the Kremlin quoted Yeltsin as saying he was satisfied that the Foreign Ministry, which former Deputy Minister Ivanov has led since Yevgeny Primakov was promoted to prime minister in September, and that it had fulfilled the tasks set for it in 1998.


Ivanov, 53, said he saw his job as maintaining world stability, increasing the influence of the United Nations and standing up for Russia's interests, Itar-Tass reported.


"You work a great deal, on your own, and travel a lot around the world. You are known in the world. You have managed to solve many problems - that's great," Yeltsin was quoted as saying by Itar-Tass.


Ivanov, a career diplomat, played an outspoken role in Russia's criticism of the U.S. and British attack on Iraq earlier this month during which Moscow, in a move unprecedented since the Cold War, briefly recalled its ambassadors from Washington and London.


In later comments reported by Tass, Ivanov called for a United Nations Security Council review of the Iraq issue, and said trade sanctions against Baghdad should end if it fulfills UN resolutions.


"We have proposed a comprehensive review in the near future of Iraq's fulfillment of the resolutions on the liquidation of weapons of mass destruction," Itar-Tass quoted Ivanov as saying.


The foreign minister also confirmed that Yeltsin, who has rarely traveled abroad in recent years because of poor health, plans to visit France next month to help strengthen relations with Europe.


Presidential spokesman Dmitry Yakushkin announced the plans Friday, saying: "The work schedule for January is being worked out now, and a trip to France is being considered."


No definite schedule has been announced, however, and Yeltsin doesn't plan to leave Moscow before the end of the year, Yakushkin said.