Date :3/24/03 2:02:53 PM
  No.: 15
llll bbbb SPA-15-politics / Russia wants Security Council to meet on Iraq

Moscow, Mar 24, SPA -- A top Russian Foreign Ministry official called on Monday for a session of the U.N. Security Council to consider the U.S.-led military offensive in Iraq.

Yuri Fedotov, a deputy foreign minister, was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying: " in favor of the Security Council giving all necessary political and legal assessment of the situation (in Iraq) and taking corresponding decisions."

Russia, a permanent member of the Council with veto rights, sided with other U.N. heavyweights France and China in opposing U.S.-led operations to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The three unsuccessfully argued for U.N. inspectors to be given more time to search for alleged weapons of mass destruction. --SPA 1408 Local Time 1108 GMT

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