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US National Security Advisor Rice Visits Moscow - 2004-05-14

President Bush's National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, is visiting Moscow Friday to talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other top officials, mainly about a new U.N. resolution on Iraq.

Condoleezza Rice said before leaving Washington, the main objective of her trip is to hold consultations with Russia's leaders on a new U.N. Security Council resolution about the future of Iraq.

She told journalists the United States wants the Kremlin's input into the resolution that would define the United Nations' future role in the reconstruction of Iraq. The Bush administration says it wants to increase the U.N. role in Iraq ahead of the hand-over of power to an Iraqi-led government at the end of June.

Russia is one of five countries in the Security Council that hold veto power over its resolutions.

Russia's president never accepted the U.S. argument that a war was necessary to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and insisted invasion of Iraq bypassing the U.N. Security Council was unjustified.

Now, Russian leaders say they are willing to discuss a new U.N. resolution on Iraq's future.

Viktor Kremenyuk is an analyst with the U.S.A.-Canada Institute in Moscow. He says the United States and Russia now have a good opportunity to resolve their differences over Iraq.

?I think that there is a possibility to overcome both the differences on Iraq and at the same time, to warm up a bit the relationship, because there are other problems that have to be solved, and which can't be solved because of the current state of affairs.?

Ms. Rice is also traveling to Germany, another country that has strongly opposed the Iraq war. While in Germany, she will also meet Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia.