MOSCOW REGION. March 22
(Interfax) - Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has asked
the U.S. Department of State to clarify its request for
deportation of Iraqi diplomats. No reply has been received
"What kind of threat can [Iraqi
diplomats] pose to the U.S. security? This is strange, to say
the least," Ivanov said at a session of the non-governmental
Foreign and Defense Policy Council.
The United States probably wants to
indicate that all the previous contracts signed with the Iraqi
side are invalidated and those who have economic interests in
Iraq will have to start anew with an administration that will
appear in Iraq after the U.S. military action is over, Ivanov
A goal of the Russian foreign policy is
to protect Russia's lawful economic interests in Iraq, he
"Quite a few falcons will want to profit
from Iraq's resources after the bombardment is over," he said.
"Although they are saying at present that
the resources belong to the Iraqi people, the desire to get
hold of them will be strong," he said.
"Our priority is to protect our lawful
interests," he said.
"Attempts have already been made to
declare all ambassadors persona non-grata and freeze all
Iraq's accounts. This is not happening accidentally. It is a
way of stating that everything done until now is illegal and
all contracts are illegal. Legality starts with the arrival of
a new administration, even if it is temporary," he said.
"We have not done anything illegal in
that country. Russia's economic presence is not different from
other countries' presence and should be respected in keeping
with international laws," he said.
"Companies may have breached something
but this is not of principal importance. The key thing is that
Russia's official position, the forms of its cooperation were
strictly consistent with the norms stipulated by the UN
Security Council in connection with the sanctions regime," he
Furthermore, Russia's political stance on
Iraq is not linked to any economic benefits or concessions.
"We are not trading oil for politics," he said. [RU US DIP IQ
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