The Federation Council (the upper house of the Russian parliament) fully supports "the thought out and consistent" policy of the Russian leaders aimed at the settlement of the Iraqi crisis by political and diplomatic means on the basis of the UN Security Council resolution, says the statement of the Federation Council. It was unanimously adopted by the senators as a basis after the Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov addressed the Federation Council.
In their statement the parliamentarians address the Russian president with the proposal to create a strategic group for working out measures aimed at ensuring the interests of our country in the Middle East. The group should include, the upper house's council believe, representatives of the president's staff, the Russian Security Council, the Federal Assembly, various ministries and agencies as well business and scientific communities.
The document expresses "deep regret in connection with the dramatic developments" in the Gulf area. The Russian senators called upon parliamentarians all over the world to make their utmost for the earliest termination of the conflict, and settlement of the Iraqi problem within the UN framework.
"The realisation of the use-of-force scenario with respect to the Republic of Iraq inflicted serious damage to the generally recognised principles and norms of international law, the entire system of international security," the statement says.
The senators stress that the Iraqi crisis poses a "tangible threat to Russia's national security and interests", since the unity of the international anti-terrorist coalition has been broken.
The document also points out that the destruction of the economic and social infrastructure of Iraq, the worsening of the ecological situation in the country are the first results of the decision of the USA and the countries which supported it to begin the military action against Iraq. "Tension grows in the Middle East, the conflict may spread beyond the territory of Iraq," the senators state.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea