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Russia Calls for UN to Issue Final Report on Iraq WMD Probe - 2004-02-03

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov says it is necessary to settle the issue of whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction once and for all.

Mr. Fedotov told the acting chief of the United Nations weapons inspection commission, called UNMOVIC, Demetrius Perricos, that Russia still wants to see the United Nation's Security Council issue a final report on the findings of U.S.-led weapons inspectors in Iraq.

Russian news agencies quote Deputy Foreign Minister Fedotov as saying, neither the U.S.-led Iraq Survey Group, nor the U.N. inspectors found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But in what appears to be a change in Russia's position, Mr. Fedotov was quoted as saying that, rather than insisting on the return of U.N. inspectors to Iraq, Moscow would accept the U.S.-led coalition findings.

The Russian official said the U.S.-led coalition must report its findings both to the U.N. weapons inspection commission and to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency.

Mr. Perricos said the U.N. inspectors, who left Iraq last March just before the U.S.-led invasion, would return if asked by the Security Council.