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Situation around Iraq


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Press release

Grigory Yavlinsky: Russia's priority in the situation around Iraq should be guarantees of security for the citizens of Russia and the neighbouring regions
Press release, March 6, 2003

Russia's vital interests in the Iraqi conflict lie in guaranteeing security for the citizens of Russia and stability of neighbouring regions, rather than in setting a price for its support for America or in propping up the oil price.


Deputies from the YABLOKO faction of the State Duma propose to Foreign Minister Ivanov a solution to the Iraqi crisis
Press Release, February 19, 2003

Deputies from the YABLOKO faction of the State Duma think that it is still possible to resolve the Iraqi crisis without war. To achieve this goal, Russia should take the initiative and propose that the international community station in the country a considerable international contingent of military forces prepared to engage in military action at any moment. This would render the work of the UN inspectors really efficient and would in time lead to regime change. Implementation of such a plan would also eliminate the contradictions within the international community.


"The Defeat of the USA is Our Defeat."
By Kseniya Veretennikova, Vremya Novostei, September 25, 2003

According to Yavlinsky, the defeat of the coalition troops in Iraq would mean Russia's defeat, as it would incite terrorism and extremism on a global level.


Patching Things Up at Putin's Picnic
By Grigory Yavlinsky, The Moscow Times, June 6, 2003.

The top-level meetings held in St. Petersburg last weekend produced positive results for Russia, Europe and the entire world.


Russia, U.S. Remain Divided, Despite Healing of War Rifts
By Gregory L. White, Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2003

But as the two presidents meet in St. Petersburg this weekend for the first time since the war, there's still little sign they will be able to get the strategic partnership, stalled by the war, back into high gear soon.


A Nuclear Bomb in Stars and Stripes. Deputies Ordered to reduce them
Interview with Alexei Arbatov by Marina Ozerova, Moskovskiy Komsomolets, May 15, 2003

Yesterday the State Duma ratified the Treaty on the Reduction of Offensive Potential, which was signed a year ago by Presidents Putin and Bush.


Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, April 23, 2003

Arbatov noted that the conflict over Iraq "has exposed differences in the two countries' approaches to solving key problems of international security and stability."


Russia reexamining its military
By David Filipov, Boston Globe, May 9, 2003

... the generals have resisted rapid change, and the Russian Army today is merely a stripped down, impoverished version of what it has been for decades -- a massive, unwieldy conscript force built for 20th century battles on the plains of Europe, with too many generals and not enough battle-ready troops.


U.S. Victory Highlights Russian Weakness
By Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press, April 21, 2003

The quick defeat of Saddam Hussein's military, which was modeled on the rigid Soviet war machine, at the hands of a motivated high-tech adversary has thrown a spotlight on the weakness of Russia's own crumbling armed forces and strengthened the hand of proponents of radical military reform.


Analysts Warn Against Knee-Jerk Anti-Americanism
By Sarah Karush, The Associated Press, April 17, 2003

Moscow was right to oppose Washington over Iraq, but Russian leaders must be cautious not to fall into Soviet-style, knee-jerk anti-Americanism that might not always serve the country's interests, leading politicians and experts said Wednesday.


Vladimir Lukin: "Don Rumata is Doomed…" Literary and psychological analysis of the Iraqi crisis
Interview with Vladimir Lukin by Alexander Nikonov, Ogonyok, No 13, April 2003

...The regime is bad and no one will argue with that statement: however, from the viewpoint of international law, this does not give anybody the right to bring troops there...


Russia Outlook: Will Russia Seize the Opportunity?
World Economic Forum, 01.02.2002 (Archive)

"The president is giving a very clear signal to his partners that the relative success of the United States in Afghanistan is only the end of the beginning, and it is a very long story -- It is better, instead of discussing these minor things which create new problems, to start negotiating strategic military and political alliances for the 21st century that will have a dramatic impact on the internal political situation in Russia as well."


The Strategy of a Compromise
By Grigory Yavlinsky, Deloviye Ludi, March 24, 2003

We cannot neglect the fact that Europe’s borders, separating the region from the most unstable and the most dangerous parts of the world, run along Russia’s borders. Their defense is an all-European concern. Furthermore, a weak and unstable Russia would represent an eternal breeding ground for terrorist threats.
Only a Bigger Europe, which takes advantage of the territorial and intellectual potential and all other resources of the former republics of the Soviet Union, can complete globally on an equal footing with North America and South-East Asia.


Russia-U.S. ties strained by war
By Anthony Louis, UPI, April 2, 2003

MOSCOW, April 2 (UPI) -- Russia-U.S. ties were further strained by the war in Iraq Wednesday when the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned U.S. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow to protest the continued bombing of an area of Baghdad, this time near the Russian Embassy.


War Shows Fragility Of U.S.-Russia Links
By ALAN CULLISION and JEANNE WHALEN, Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2003

"Even during the Cold War, when Moscow and Washington hated each other, "ordinary people" really liked Americans. Now, the sincere feeling on the street ... is taking on a bright anti-American character." says Alexei Arbatov


Putin, Bush ties expected to survive
By Alice Lagnado, THE WASHINGTON TIMES, April 1, 2003

"The war in Iraq will not be the transition to a cold war between Russia and the USA, nor will it ruin the Russian-American strategic relations. This is not in our interests..."


Russian experts on the situation around Iraq
Anchor - Vladimir Pozner, Channel One TV, "Vremena" programme, March 30, 2003

We need to think and must not become emotional. It is not Russia's war. We are not particularly interested in the regime in Iraq after the war. We should not be emotionally attached to Saddam Hussein's regime, unlike some of our friends on the Left.


Grigory Yavlinsky: the Iraqi war will not spoil US-Russian ties
BBC Monitoring, Radio Mayak, March 29, 2003

"The USA committed a major political mistake, which is leading to numerous casualties among civilian population and troops. TheYabloko party believes that there was no direct threat from Iraq at the time. Although it was not easy to carry out inspections and disarm Iraq, there was no direct cause for starting the war."


Grigory Yavlinsky: "The President Alone Cannot Control Everything."
Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky, Gazeta, March 25, 2003

Society needs an independent Duma. If we have an imitation Duma instead of a real Duma, and the court and elections, parties and politics are also an imitation, then we may end up with an imitation of presidential power. We should not forget about this.


Bush Runs into the Moscow Fronde for the First Time
By Yulia Petrovskaya, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, March 25, 2003

What is the real source of this most recent tension in Russian-US relations, and what are the implications of the military equipment story for Moscow? We asked some experts.


Kremlin Fires Back at Bush
By Simon Saradzhyan and Oksana Yablokova, The Moscow Times, March 26, 2003

The Kremlin fired a new salvo in the battle of words between Moscow and Washington over Iraq on Tuesday, insisting that it was President Vladimir Putin rather than his U.S. counterpart who had initiated the discussion of alleged sales of Russian defense equipment to Iraq during their last phone conversation.


USA seeks to pin blame for military failures in Iraq
RIA Novosti, March 25, 2003

Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Defence Committee Alexei Arbatov announced at a Moscow press conference that the USA's allegations that Russia had illegally exported weapons to Iraq were part of a campaign to pin the blame on someone else for the US military's failures in the current military operation in that country.


Alexei Arbatov: Politically the USA is losing the war in Iraq
RIA Novosti, March 25, 2003

The military campaign of the anti-Iraqi coalition is proceeding more or less according to plan in purely military aspects. Politically, however, the US has already begun to lose the war.


Alexei Arbatov: The CIS states supporting the US war against Iraq are stating their reputation
RIA Novosti, March 25, 2003

Alexei Arbatov, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Defence Committee, stated at a press conference that the decision taken by Georgia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Ukraine to support the US in their war against Iraq "besmirches their reputation.."


Will the Iraqi War Lead to Deterioration in Russia-US Relations?
RIA Novosti, March 25, 2003

The politician said that the United States would demand the support of Russia and European countries, and then when this was denied, would make accusations against other states.


Grigory YAvlinsky's statement on the military operation against Iraq
RIA Oreanda, March 20, 2003
Moscow. Such developments could have been avoided. However, we failed in this task. Unfortunately, it is highly likely that the military operation will lead to a considerable number of victims on both sides.

Putin Calls the Attack a Big Political Mistake
By Simon Saradzhyan and Oksana Yablokova, The Moscow Times, March 21, 2003
President Vladimir Putin on Thursday demanded an immediate end to the U.S.-led military action against Iraq, denouncing it as a "big political mistake" that threatens the existing international security system and could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe in the region.


Kremlin Silent as Deadline Passes
By Simon Saradzhyan and Nabi Abdullaev, The Moscow Times, March 20, 2003
Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov made an 11th-hour appeal against war at the UN Security Council on Wednesday, while the Kremlin was conspicuously silent in a clear signal that Russia didn't want to burn any bridges with U.S. or European partners.


Chairman of the Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO Grigory Yavlinsky on the military operation against Iraq
Special statement for YABLOKO's web-site, March 20, 2003
...Russia must seek to achieve several objectives.
First of all: to reduce the number of victims, by trying to ensure a termination of the war as soon as possible. Secondly the conflict will end and the situation will revert to a legal framework. This happened several times after the Second World War and the formation of the UN. Our country should preserve its strategic partnership with Europe and the USA.
Finally the third objective...


Alexei Arbatov: United States Will Ask Russia, Europe and the UN for Help
Interview with Alexei Arbatov, Vremya Novostei, March 20, 2003
It's too late to change anything now. We should have understood last autumn that Saddam Hussein's regime would not survive, and started looking for other solutions to the problem of weapons of mass destruction and replacing the regime, without a war.


Split Develops in Russian Policy towards Iraq Crisis
By Igor Torbakov, eurasianet.org, March 18, 2003
While most in Moscow believe that a war with Iraq will seriously damage Russian interests, a split is developing over how Russia should respond to the imminent outbreak of war. One side appears ready to continue opposition to US military action, while the other says that Russia ought to embrace a realpolitik approach, and cooperate with the inevitable.


Grigory Yavlinsky: "Russia should not send a single soldier to the war."
Ekho Moskvi radio station, March 19, 2003
Speaking in an interview with Russian Ekho Moskvy radio on 19 March, Grigory Yavlinsky said a large international contingent should be amassed to bring political and military pressure to bear on Iraq, but that action should stop short of a large-scale military operation. In the same interview, the Yabloko leader also cast doubts on the value of the Chechen referendum, arguing that only a peace conference chaired by the Russian President could alter the situation in the republic.


Yavlinsky proposes applying military-political pressure against Baghdad instead of force
Interfax, March 18, 2003
The leader of YABLOKO Grigory Yavlinsky proposes applying military-political pressure against Saddam Hussein's regime to resolve the Iraqi crisis, instead of sheer force.


Vladimir Lukin: the President will speed up ratification of the European Social Charter
MK-Novosti, March 15, 2003
"It is even good that things went this way," commented Vladimir Lukin (YABLOKO), deputy speaker of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, in an interview with MK-Novosti, on the rejection by the State Duma at its plenary meeting on March 14, 2003, of the draft resolution, calling on the President to speed up ratification of the European Social Charter.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Russia will not veto US resolution on Iraq
Rosbalt, March 14, 2003

In the next few days Russia will take "unexpected steps" regarding the situation in Iraq, claims Grigory Yavlinsky, the leader of the YABLOKO party.


Russian politicians react to US ambassador's veiled threats over Iraq veto
Ekho Moskvi, March 12, 2003

But I still hope that the Americans will define their interests soberly, set emotions to one side and understand that in this particular situation postponing the operation is not a defeat but a major victory, which the whole world will greet with applause.


Putin's Delicate Balancing Game
By Catherine Belton,The Moscow Times, March 13, 2003

A vote on a new UN Security Council resolution, which the United States insists will come this week, could be one of Putin's biggest tests. The question on everyone's lips is how far he is willing to stick his neck out in opposing a U.S. war in Iraq.


Russia should join a cold war on Iraq
By Grigory Yavlinsky, Financial Times (UK), March 6, 2003

In the manner of Andrei Gromyko, his Soviet predecessor, Igor Ivanov, Russia's foreign minister, now repeatedly suggests that Moscow might veto a second United Nations resolution on Iraq. Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin has maintained a protracted silence. According to today's Kremlinologists, this role-play can mean only two things...


France and Russia Ready to Use Veto Against Iraq War
By John Tagliabue, The New York Times, March 6, 2003

PARIS, March 5 — France and Russia made clear today that they were ready to use their veto power to block passage of a new Security Council resolution authorizing force against Iraq, but Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said the United States would go to war without United Nations backing if necessary.


The Iraqi Crisis: the Moment of Truth.
By Alexei Arbatov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, No. 40, March 1, 2003

The situation around Iraq has entered a final pre-war stage. For the whole world, the moment of truth is at hand. The outcome of the crisis is set to determine both regional and global politics for years to come, with repercussions ranging from relationships among the leading powers to the prospects of global law and order, to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and fighting international terrorism.


Instead or After the War
By Viktor Sheinis, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, March 3, 2003

The war of the US-led coalition against Saddam Hussein's regime seems to be inevitable. How is Russia supposed to behave in a situation which it hadn't provoked and in which, let's be frank, hardly depends on it?


Opponents to war should realize that their protest is fruitless without an alternative. Peaceful means of changing the Baghdad' s policy or a change in the Iraqi regime.
Novaya Gazeta, February 20, 2003

The Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO thinks that the Iraqi crisis can be resolved by stationing on Iraq’s borders a powerful international contingent of military forces to control the situation during the transitional period and ready to carry out immediate acts of force in the event of a corresponding political decision, as well as activisation and expansion of the scope of work of the UN inspectors.


YABLOKO proposes an alternative variant to resolve the Iraqi crisis
Rosbalt, February 19, 2003

MOSCOW. February 19, 2003. Deputies from the YABLOKO faction of the State Duma are convinced there are other ways and to resolve the Iraqi crisis without war.


More Efficient Than War
By Grigory Yavlinsky, Izvestia, February 11, 2003

Nowadays it is difficult to find a politician in Russia who will not talk about the need to "join Europe". Russia is a European country. I am convinced that if everything goes well, Russia will be a member of all European political, economic and defence structures in 10-15 years. These will be mostly new organisations.


Experts: U.S. Must Not Act Like a Cowboy in a Saloon
By Natalia Yefimova, The Moscow Times, February 18, 2003

While there is little Russia can do to stop U.S. military action against Iraq, Moscow should position itself as a "responsible partner," pushing Washington to abide by international law and avoiding rash moves that could jeopardize Russian interests in a postwar Iraq, foreign policy and security experts said Monday.


Grigory Yavlinsky on the War in Iraq
By Nikolai Svanidzye, RTR television channel, February 1, 2003

Russia opposes the war with Iraq. If there is a war, Russia should do everything it can to minimize the number of victims, especially civilian casualties. In addition Russia must ensure a change of Iraqi regime. The totalitarian regime is dangerous for us..


US Omnipotence: What Lies Ahead?
World Economic Forum, Summary, January 25, 2003

In a frank and lively discussion, a sharply divided panel
debated the merits and scope of American power. While the question of war
clouds over Iraq was on everybody's mind, economic, cultural and political
as well as military aspects of American power were broached.


Davos Fights for Trust
By Igor Deryugin, Vesti, January 24, 2003

The World Economic Forum in Davos launched "Fight for Trust". That is the wording used to describe the topic of the present meeting. The world political and business elite perceives the situation around Iraq as the main threat to stability.

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