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Russian Ambassador to Iraq to Return to Moscow on Monday

Russian Ambassador to Iraq Vladimir Titorenko has told RIA Novosti that he and two other employees of the Russian embassy are expecting to return to Moscow on Monday.

As for the wounded driver, Vladimir Arkhipov, his condition is satisfactory but it has not been decided so far if he is coming along or not, a doctor from the Russian embassy to Syria told RIA Novosti. According to his words, the decision will be made immediately before the diplomats' departure.

In the meantime, Titorenko denied media reports saying Russian diplomats had been trying to export Saddam Hussein's archives from Iraq. The cars were loaded with valuable equipment belonging to the embassy and diplomats' personal belongings, nothing else, he said.

Titorenko also said the US top brass had been informed about the route the Russian convoy was going to take.

"The Americans were aware of who was in that convoy," he remarked. "Then there was the Russian flag on my car, which drove ahead of the convoy." He stressed that the journalists and diplomats caught in the crossfire had displayed courage and self-control and had rushed to help their wounded colleagues.

The convoy, which was heading to Syria, was caught in a crossfire. A few diplomats were wounded. The ambassador's driver suffered a severe wound to the stomach and underwent surgery in Faluja. Titorenko then returned to Syria to fetch him.

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