| MIN. IGOR IVANOV (Minister of Foreign
Affairs, Russian Federation): (Through interpreter.) Thank you very much, Mr.
While I am in the United States, I should like, first of all,
on behalf of the leadership and people of Russia, to express profound condolences
to the government and people of the United States of America following the tragic
death of the crew of the space ship Columbia.
We share the grief of our
American partners, with whom we are actively cooperating in outer space, and primarily
in implementing the program of the International Space Station. The work of the
astronauts is probably the best demonstration of the shared fundamental interest
of mankind and the need to bring together its intellectual, creative efforts in
the name of the progress of civilization.
Mr. President, Russia views
this meeting today through the prism of the consistent efforts of the Security
Council of the United Nations to find a political settlement to the situation
surrounding Iraq, on the basis of complete, scrupulous compliance with the resolutions
on it. The unanimous adoption of Resolution 1441 of the U.N. Security Council
and the deployment of international inspectors in Iraq have demonstrated the
ability of the international community to act together in the interest of attaining
a common goal.
We are convinced that maintaining the unity of the world
community, primarily within the context of the U.N. Security Council, and our
concerted action in strict compliance with the United Nations Charter and Security
Council resolutions, are the most reliable way to resolve the problem of weapons
of mass destruction in Iraq through political means.
The fact that we
all want to resolve this problem, that is something that nobody should doubt.
It was with that in mind that we have listened very closely to the presentation
given by Secretary of State Powell. Russia believed and continues to believe that
the Security Council and, through it, the entire international community must
have all of the necessary information it needs in order to answer the question
of whether or not there are remaining weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
The information that was given to us today definitely will require very
serious and thorough study.
Experts in our countries must immediately get
down to analyzing it and drawing the appropriate conclusions from it.
the main point is, is that this information has to be immediately handed over
for processing by UNMOVIC and the IAEA, including through direct, onsite verification
during the inspections in Iraq.
Baghdad must give the inspectors answers
to the questions that we have heard in the presentation given by the U.S. secretary of state.
At the same time, we must once again appeal to all states immediately
to hand over to the international inspectors any information that can help them
discharge their responsible mandate.
The information provided today
by [the] U.S. secretary of state once again convincingly indicates the fact that
the activities of the international inspectors in Iraq must be continued. They
alone can provide an answer to the question to what extent is Iraq complying with
the demands of the Security Council. They alone can help the Security Council
work out and adopt carefully balanced, best possible decisions.
statements made by Dr. Blix and by Dr. ElBaradei in this very chamber on the 27th
of January, show that Iraq has deployed a unique inspection mechanism, which has
everything it needs in order to ensure compliance with Resolution 1441 and other
Security Council decisions.
This powerful potential must be used fully.
The Security Council of the U.N., all of its members, must do everything they
can to support the inspection process.
For its part, Russia intends
to continue actively to promote the creation of the best possible conditions for
the work of the international inspectors in Iraq. In particular, we are prepared
to provide an airplane for aerial monitoring and, if need be, additional inspectors,
Russia welcomes the continuation of dialogue between the chairman
of UNMOVIC and the director-general of the IAEA with Iraq on outstanding unresolved
issues. We hope that this dialogue will be extremely concrete and productive.
Inter alia, this is being facilitated by the fact that work has been
moved to the timetable set out in Resolution 1284, which should make the international
inspections and the monitoring even more systematic and effective, primarily when
it comes to clarifying key disarmament tasks, by the end of March of this year.
It is perfectly obvious that the work of UNMOVIC and the IAEA can be effective
only if there is full cooperation in good faith by Iraq.
be the first to be concerned about providing final clarity about the question
of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. That is the only way
leading to a political settlement, including the lifting of sanctions on Iraq.
Baghdad should clearly realize how crucial this is and do everything in
its power so that the international inspectors can discharge their mandate.
Recently, when it comes to the Iraqi settlement, we often hear the phrase
that "time is running out." Of course Resolution 1441 is geared to speedily
achieving practical results, but any concrete time frames are absent from it.
The inspectors alone can recommend to the Security Council how much
time they need to carry out the tasks entrusted to them.
In this connection,
we must not -- we cannot rule out the possibility of the Security Council that
at some stage it may need to adopt a new resolution and perhaps more than one
resolution. The main point is that our efforts continue to be geared to doing
everything possible to facilitate the inspection process, which has proven its
effectiveness and makes it possible to implement the decisions of the Security
Council through peaceful means.
Mr. President, the current situation
around Iraq, unfortunately, is far from the last problem whose solution we still
all have to work on. The international community in the 21st century is confronting
new global threats and challenges requiring a unified response from all states.
A graphic example of this approach was the creation of the broad coalition which
is combating the main, the most dangerous threat of our time -- international
It is precisely because of the unity of the world community
that initial success has been achieved in combatant this scourge. However, it
is perfectly obvious that we are just at the beginning of a very difficult battle
with terrorism, and the information provided by [the] U.S. secretary of state
about the activities of al-Qaida is further corroboration of this fact.
The unity of the world community will continue to be the main guarantee for the
effectiveness of its action. It is precisely unity that has to be pivotal in our
approach to any problems, however complicated they may be. True, tactical differences
may arise, and probably there will be quite a few of them, given the complexity
of the tasks we need to resolve, but they must not overshadow the strategic goals
which are in the interest of our common security and stability.