IRAQ - May 9 - UN P5 Agree Sanctions Change.
On May 10, a report in The FT said: "Russia may benefit from UN vote on Iraq... Last month the US promised Moscow it would release $750m of the Russian contracts Washington had delayed, helping to win Russia's agreement for revision of the [humanitarian] programme". Raad Alkadiri, analyst at the Petroleum Finance Company, said: "The whole battle over smart sanctions since last summer has amounted to a battle over Russia's pocket. Iraq has made sure Russia gets the lion's share of the contracts". Baghdad owes Russia $8 bn in debts incurred before the Gulf war and has used its humanitarian imports and oil reserves - the world's second largest - as a lure, promising Moscow lucrative oil investment deals, which would come to fruition after sanctions are lifted. The FT report added: "But Russia is not the only country that will win from the deal. France, China, Egypt and Jordan also have large numbers of delayed contracts, most of which will be reviewed under the new system after France insisted the US re-circulate nearly all the blocked contracts once the new procedure is in place. Still, analysts and Security Council diplomats... point out that the new-found unity among the permanent five council members does not extend much further than the resolution at hand. Russia, with most other members of the Security Council, remains vehemently opposed to the US policy of changing the regime in Baghdad. By easing the system under which humanitarian contracts are approved for imports into Iraq, the US hopes to win at least one battle in the fight over Iraq policy". One senior diplomat said: "This is all about the propaganda war of who is to blame for the humanitarian problems in Iraq. Everything in the resolution aims to shift the blame [from Washington to Baghdad]". Alkadiri said: "What this does is potentially provide the US another arrow in its political quiver as it tries to seek international support for its regime-change policy").
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|Publication:||APS Diplomat Recorder|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||May 11, 2002|
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