Any attempt at a forcible solution of the problem of Iraq will only aggravate not just the settlement of the conflict but the situation around the Gulf of Persia as a whole, complicated as it is. Such was the statement made by Igor Ivanov, Russia's Foreign Minister, during his meeting, yesterday, with Naji Sabri, his Iraqi counterpart. Mr. Ivanov also said he believed there were many possibilities of a peaceful political settlement.
The Defence Minister also said that the preparedness of Iraq to receive Hans Blix, the UN Head Inspector charged with finding Saddam's weapons, to discuss the possibility of the restoration of the system of arms inspections in the country was 'a step in the right direction'. Russia believes, he said, that a continued dialogue between the Secretary General of UN and Iraq was the correct way to settle the situation.
Putin said that NATO increased its military personnel by 10,000 people in the areas where NATO troops should not even be in accordance with key documents
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969