| Moscow, March 18, 2003. Interfax. 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.
At a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday Yavlinsky stated that
in this case it would be viable to act "in the cold war style:
applying indirect military and political pressure."
"Russia's position in this case is correct: we oppose in
every manner possible the launch of a war, as it is fraught with
the risk of a huge number of victims," noted the leader of
Yavlinsky also expressed his view that an international military
contingent represented by France, Germany and Russia could have
been stationed around Iraq and applied pressure against Saddam
Hussein "to disarm Iraq and create a transparent and predictable
regime of rule there", before noting: "Unfortunately
we have so far failed to achieve the adoption of such a decision."
"However, the 48 hours [of George Bush's ultimatum] issued
to Saddam Hussein today can be used by Russia to propose its own
initiatives aimed at achieving a mutually acceptable resolution
of the problem," said Yavlinsky.
Yavlinsky also thinks that the current developments around Iraq
will not be "the last case", adding: "They will
be followed by North Korea, Iran, Syria and half of the CIS, and
then "friendly" totalitarian regimes like Saudi Arabia,
in other words all the countries that are closed, have totalitarian
or semi-totalitarian regimes inclined to obtain weapons of mass
destruction." The YABLOKO leader also noted that "if
we adhere to this chain of events, the wars will last for decades."
Therefore, stated Yavlinsky, a new general policy towards such
countries should be developed, which should be based on the imposition
of "indirect military and political pressure" on the