The message said, in particular, that the Iraqi settlement had hit a deadlock, which was in danger of having an even more negative impact on the regional situation. “We may once again encounter major destabilisation, which will undermine the interests of all local states and international security, unless efforts for mutually acceptable solutions are stepped up.”
The message also said that Russia had advanced a suggestion for a package settlement of the Iraqi problem. Its principal element was the reestablishment of international control over prohibited Iraqi military programmes—in other words, reliable in situ monitoring. At the same time, in exchange for Baghdad’s cooperation with the United Nations in the disarmament sphere, steps must be made to suspend and later lift anti-Iraqi sanctions. The problems of missing Kuwaiti nationals and the restitution of Kuwaiti property must be settled in the same context.
Mr Putin stressed that the Russian initiatives were aimed at implementing relevant UN Security Council resolutions and guaranteeing an Iraqi settlement within the international legal framework. It was Russia’s principled stance that international conflicts were to be settled by political and diplomatic methods. Russia opposed the use of force in interstate relations in violation of the UN Charter and bypassing the UN Security Council.
In conclusion, Mr Putin said he was sure that the implementation of the Russian suggestion would be a reliable way of restoring neighbourly relations between the countries of the region, guaranteeing mutual security and creating conditions ruling out repeated armed conflicts.