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Iraq: U.S., Russia Still Differ On Iraqi Sanctions


Moscow, 8 February 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Russia says that even though "some progress" has been made, Moscow and Washington still have to resolve a number of differences on the issue of sanctions for Iraq. The Russian Foreign Ministry today said in a statement that the two sides are progressing in their talks on Iraq in Geneva, but there is still work to be done to "narrow the sphere of disagreement."

U.S. and Russian officials yesterday finished two days of discussions on "refining" a list of goods that would require UN Security Council authorization before being sold to Iraq.

Currently, under the UN oil-for-food program, Iraq can import food, medicines, and other goods needed for the country's infrastructure.

The UN imposed sanctions on Baghdad after Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait in August 1990.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell have agreed to prepare a legally binding arms reduction agreement.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in the statement released today that Ivanov and Powell "underlined the importance of developing a legally binding agreement on radical cuts in strategic missiles."

The ministry said that the two ministers agreed on the need to develop the agreement during a telephone conversation yesterday.

The ministers talked in preparation of U.S. President George W. Bush's first official visit to Moscow, planned for 23-25 May.

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