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Putin: Iraq War Is a 'Mistake With Serious Consequences' - 2003-03-17


Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken out against war in Iraq, as a U.S. set deadline for the end of diplomatic action draws near.

President Putin broke weeks of public silence on Iraq to say that war would be "a mistake with serious consequences."

President Putin told reporters that Russia still hopes to see the stand-off over how best to disarm Iraq resolved through peaceful means.

The United States, Britain, and Spain held an emergency summit Sunday in the Azores and set a deadline for diplomatic efforts to end the crisis over Iraq.

A short while before Mr. Putin spoke, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov said a draft resolution on disarming Iraq that has been proposed by Britain, Spain, and the United States had no chance of winning U.N. Security Council approval.

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