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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Frets Over Draft on Iraq

A Foreign Ministry official praised the new U.S. draft resolution on Iraq for "practically" meeting Moscow's demand that Baghdad not be threatened with the automatic use of force, but complained Wednesday that the draft still needed more work before it could win the Kremlin's support, Itar-Tass said.

"The draft practically left out the elements of automatic use of force," Mikhail Bogdanov, head of the Foreign Ministry's Middle East and Africa department, was quoted by Itar-Tass as saying.

"But there are other provisions which, in our view, are very hard for Iraqis to accept, the more so because they contradict earlier UN Security Council resolutions."

He did not elaborate on the remaining obstacles.

Deputy Foreign Minister Yury Fedotov repeated Russia's demands that a new UN resolution should support the inspectors' work in Iraq "and not impose new, unrealistic and unfeasible demands," Interfax reported.

Washington presented the draft UN Security Council resolution to the other four permanent members of the Security Council on Monday. A day later, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said the draft did not meet the criteria that Russia considers important for solving the crisis.

Meanwhile, Hans Blix, the head of the UN international weapons inspectors team, and Foreign Ministry officials, including Fedotov, held negotiations Wednesday about the terms and dates for the resumption of inspections in Iraq, Interfax said. Blix left the meeting without speaking to journalists.