London, 19 March 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov today said he opposes military action against Iraq if it is not supported by the UN Security Council. Ivanov made the comments in London after talks with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. Straw described the talks as "very cordial."
Ivanov said there is no evidence to support U.S. claims that Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction. But he urged Iraq to allow UN weapons inspectors to return to the country in order to open possibilities for an end to UN sanctions, which were put in place after Iraq invaded neighboring Kuwait in 1990.
Ivanov's visit to London comes as U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney is on a tour of Europe and the Middle East. Cheney says Iraq has failed to comply with UN resolutions concerning weapons of mass destruction.