On Saturday at a press conference in the wake of his negotiations with his Kirghiz counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov stated that Russia was advocating the return of international inspectors to Iraq conditioned by clear definition of their mandate and mission period. According to the minister, Russia was in favour of international inspectors continuing their mission in Iraq. He stated that "corresponding UN resolutions in this respect were available." Igor Ivanov stated that one might reach the decision to abolish sanctions against Iraq only through work of international inspectors who had to present appropriate conclusions regarding programs of mass destruction weapons.
He went on stating that "Russia is advocating the return of international inspectors to Iraq to continue their mission there. At the same time, and that also followed the corresponding UN Security Council resolutions, it was necessary for the Security Council to clearly define the mandate of international inspectors and to determine the period of fulfilment of that mandate." According to the Russian minister, such a comprehensive approach would correspond to the efforts we are presently undertaking in the interests of the political settlement of the situation around Iraq.