In the opinion of Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov, cooperation of Russia with Iraq, irrespective of the events going on in the region, will continue. As he said in the interview he gave on Wednesday to The Financial Times, the interests of Russia in Iraq and in the Middle East in general are on the whole deep and have a long-term character. "They appeared not yesterday and not a year ago," pointed out the minister, having reminded the newspaper correspondent that the economic cooperation of the Soviet Union and then of Russia with Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Israel and other Middle East countries has been underway for dozens of years now. "And I am convinced," said Igor Ivanov, "that our cooperation with them will continue, irrespective of the events in the region." At the same time, he believes, "it is absolutely obvious that the use of force with regard to Baghdad cannot but negatively tell on the international economic situation." "In this case not only the interests of Russia, but also of the United States, Great Britain and many other states will be affected," pointed out Igor Ivanov.
"Taking into consideration that the economy cannot be separated from politics, problems connected with the fight against terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the settlement of conflict situations in the world will naturally be added to economic problems," believes the Russian minister. "In a word," he summed up, "the world will not become more peaceful and safer." "Then, is such a risk justified?" concluded the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs.