The discussion in the UN Security Council of a new phase of the Oil For Food programme will be held within a few days. This was said at a briefing devoted to the end of Russia's Presidency of the Security Council by permanent representative of Russia to the United Nations Sergei Lavrov. According to him, the intensive consultations of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council on the preparation of a draft resolution laying the foundation of a new humanitarian programme for Iraq, the current phase of which expires at the end of May, were held beyond the bounds of the Security Council. "We have a stake in achieving accord on the basis of the new scheme earlier so that all the UN institutions dealing with the implementation of this programme, and the countries which participate in this programme by their companies and corporations could familiarise themselves with the new order in advance and switch over to the new phase without fail", the Russian diplomat said. By Sergei Lavrov's forecast, such a project must be approved by the members of the Five "within the next few days" after which it will be discussed in the Security Council. The Oil for Food programme was initiated by the international community with the active participation of Russia in December 1996. According to the programme, Iraq is allowed to sell a certain amount of oil on the international market, and to buy humanitarian goods, food and medicines in particular, on the money thus earned which goes into a special account in the UN. Last year the USA and Great Britain came out for changing the list of goods, import of which to Iraq is banned, towards toughening it. As a result, after the nearly year-long consultations among the permanent members of the UN Security Council a new compromise mechanism was approved in principle. If it is approved also in the UN Security Council "practically all civil goods and equipment will be supplied to Iraq on the basis of a simplified scheme without any endorsement by the sanctions committee of the Security Council," Sergei Lavrov noted.