Igor Ivanov, the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation stated the position of his country clearly and unequivocally on Friday: that Russia will not allow any resolution which opens the path for war to pass in the Security Council.
“Russia will not support a resolution which opens the way, directly or indirectly, to a solution of the Iraqi conflict by force”, he said, explaining that if force is used, “it will have repercussions at a global level” and that the Russian Federation will fulfill its responsibilities “to preserve stability in the world”.
The message did not go unheard in France, whose Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin stated “We fully share the position of our Russian and German friends”, meaning that there are now five members of the Security Council, three of these with the right to veto (Russia, France and China, the others being Germany and Syria) firmly against the use of force in the Gulf.
Last week was not a good one for the hawks in Washington, who insist on the use of demagogy, rather than diplomacy, war instead of words. Hans Blix, the Director of the UNMOVIC inspection team, hinted that his report, to be presented to the UNSC later today, will be far more favourable towards Baghdad than Washington had wanted, calling the decision to begin destroying that Al-Samoud 2 missiles “a very significant element for real disarmament”.
The change of position on Iraq, from a previously more hostile stance was explained as follows: “Each report if a photograph of a moment. If reality changes, the report changes”. His report is expected to ask for more time for the inspections to proceed, which will thwart an attempt to start a war tonight, March 3rd.
The response from Washington is hostile, abrasive and belligerent: “The missiles should have been destroyed long ago”, in the words of Colin Powell, the dove playing the role of an unconvincing hawk.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
An unidentified man wielding a knife attacked civilians in the Church of Notre Dame in the French city of Nice. Three people were killed, several others were hospitalised with injuries.One of the victims was beheaded