Source Pravda.Ru

Russian Deputy Hopes U.N. Extends "Oil In Exchange For Food" Program

Konstantin Kosachev, the deputy Chairman of the International Committee of the State Duma, or the lower house of the Russian parliament, for international affairs hopes the United Nations extends its "Oil in Exchange for Food" program for Iraq into the next six months without considerably changing it. Russia believes the Iraqi problem should be settled by means of establishing international control over Baghdad's military programs and simultaneously suspending sanctions before lifting them altogether, said Kosachev while commenting on an upcoming December 3 discussion in the UN Security Council of changes in the sanctions regime against Iraq. According to the deputy, Moscow holds a "harsh position" on the matter, which originates from its desire to break the deadlock created by Western blockade of Iraq as well as from the interests of Russian economy: the commercial losses Russia suffered after being forced to cut the size of trade operations with Iraq amounted to almost $17 billion over the past 10 years of the sanctions regime.