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http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010608/wl/iraq_un_sanctions_dc _1.html Friday June 8 2:27 AM ET Russia Questioning Premise of New Iraqi Proposals By Evelyn Leopold UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Britain intends to submit an amended text of its U.N. Security Council draft resolution to revamp sanctions against Iraq, but Russia questioned the underlying premise of the measure. Russian Ambassador Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Thursday the draft, backed by the United States and revised somewhat by France, did not tackle fundamental problems of how the U.N. Security Council should suspend decade-old Iraqi sanctions. He said a December 1999 resolution, which outlines requirements to get the embargoes suspended, had too many gaps. ``The eventual goal is to suspend sanctions and the resolution leaves things unsolved,'' Lavrov told reporters. It was not immediately clear whether Russia would try to amend the U.S.-British plan or abandon it altogether. Diplomats said its negotiators had not engaged seriously in discussions on the resolution this week, apparently awaiting instructions from Moscow. At issue are U.S.-British proposals that would ease controls on civilian goods imported by Iraq but tighten restrictions on military- related supplies and smuggling. The plan is a revision of the oil-for-food program, an exception to the sanctions imposed in August 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait. That program allows Iraq to sell oil and order food, medicine and other goods under U.N. supervision. It was renewed for one month last week in hopes that the new measures could be adopted by July 3. A new text, expected to be circulated early next week, includes some proposals from a French rival draft. France also wants foreign companies to be able to invest in Iraq's civilian sector, including its oil industry. But British Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstick said oil sector investments in would be ``controversial.'' He noted that they would have to come in the context of the December 1999 Security Council that linked an easing of sanctions, including investments in Iraq's oil industry, to Baghdad's cooperation with U.N. weapons inspectors. The arms experts have not been allowed in the country since they left on the eve of a U.S.-British bombing raid in December 1998. However, Greenstick said other foreign investments might be feasible. ``For instance, the council I know is interested in the education, health and agricultural sectors which are so important for fundamental living in Iraq,'' he said. Ireland and Tunisia, among others, were in favor of France's proposal while the Netherlands, not on the council this year, had distributed a memorandum to members urging that oil industry investments be allowed. Iraq, in protest against the entire revision of the sanctions, halted oil exports on Monday. Baghdad wants the embargoes lifted or at least made ineffective and objects to any system that would perpetuate them. On Thursday Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) urged Russia, as a permanent council member, to use its veto power to kill the resolution. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk