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Russia: Moscow Rejects Automatic Force In UN Iraq Draft

Moscow, 3 October 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The Russian Foreign Ministry has said Moscow opposes any mention of automatic use of force against Iraq in a proposed new UN draft resolution. Interfax quotes Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Saltanov as saying it is "not constructive to present Iraq with an ultimatum without first having an objective picture" of Baghdad's alleged programs of weapons of mass destruction.

Last month, Iraq invited an international team of weapons inspectors to return, pledging to provide unfettered access to its alleged weapons sites.

But the United States and Britain are calling for a tough, new UN resolution that outlines consequences if Iraq does not abide by UN resolutions banning weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.