Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov believes that the US demand that Iraqi diplomats be expelled from world countries and Saddam's bank accounts be frozen is another unlawful act. The military solution to the Iraqi crisis could trigger a series of unlawful acts, the Minister said on Wednesday in the Russian Parliament.
"Then how can we assess the demand the USA put forward to all world leaders that they sever diplomatic ties with Iraq, expel Iraqi diplomats and freeze Saddam's bank accounts without any obvious reason for it?" Ivanov stated. He said "this is a series of unlawful acts that we are witnessing today." The Russian Minister said that Moscow had officially inquired Washington about legal grounds it had to put forward demands that diplomatic relations with Iraq be severed. "We have received no reply yet," Ivanov said.
The Minister said that at issue was not the regime of Saddam Hussein. "The point at issue is a sovereign state, a UN member," the minister announced. He recalled that the Iraqi ambassador to the UN, along with other ambassadors, was invited to discuss the Iraqi issue at Security Council sessions; Iraq has diplomatic ties with many world countries. Ivanov announced "the unauthorised military operation against Iraq deals a blow not only at Iraq but at the international community as a whole."