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Putin Expresses Dissatisfaction with US Draft Resolution on Iraq - 2003-10-03


Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia is not satisfied with the revised U.S. draft resolution on Iraq's future, but he says there is still room to negotiate.

President Putin says he thinks the revised U.S. draft resolution on Iraq can be improved.

Specifically, the Russian president says, he would like to see a United Nations Security Council resolution that provides for a broader, more inclusive role for the world community in Iraq's post-war reconstruction. Mr. Putin also says a concrete timetable should be set for U.S.-led forces to transfer power to the Iraqi people.

President Putin was among the most vocal opponents of the U.S.-led war against Iraq, calling it a "big political mistake." He has since expressed a willingness to work with the United States on the country's post-war reconstruction.

Mr. Putin, who last week held his second summit with President Bush since the war says he sees a genuine desire for compromise on the part of the United States, and he expressed confidence an agreement on a revised resolution would be reached.

Mr. Putin noted that a donors conference for Iraq is scheduled to be held later this month in Madrid, Spain, and he hopes a revised resolution could be agreed before then.

The Russian president's comments came during a regional meeting of the World Economic Forum in Moscow, which drew hundreds of business leaders from Russia and abroad.

Mr. Putin told the gathering that his government would continue to strengthen economic and political stability in Russia and carry on with reforms.

Mr. Putin said the reform effort does not mean Russia will, as he put it, "sleep under the warm blanket of oil dollars."

Russia's economy is still heavily dependent on oil revenues, which, some analysts say, allows President Putin's government to put off much needed reforms.

President Putin pledged that his government will set tough goals for itself, putting administrative and judicial reforms at the top of its agenda.

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