Russia’s position toward the events that prompted this war, toward the opportunity to resort to force and toward the role that the UN could have played, as it was its duty to, is clear: it hasn’t changed. However, we should look into the future and help Iraq build a democratic state. We must bring all the necessary conditions together to reach an economic recovery and strengthen security. All participants in the Brussels Conference share these same interests. Russia also helped to prepare this conference, which proves its deep engagement in the process.
I think that the most important thing now is to avoid the Iraqi internal conflicts that generate the terrorist war. Dialogue must be widened and all ethnic and religious factions as well as all political parties should participate in it. It would be advisable to stipulate a deadline for the military presence in the country. Russia is already playing a significant role in the reconstruction of Iraq, as we have already cancelled nearly $8000 million dollars of the Iraqi debt. Russia’s potential allows it to play an important role in that reconstruction, and its experience in the Iraq’s oil and energy spheres has awakened Lukoil’s interest. Nevertheless, we’ll have to wait until the security conditions allow to get the projects started.

Trud (Russian Federation)

"ВТОРОГО ИЗДАНИЯ ’ХОЛОДНОЙ ВОЙНЫ’ НЕ БУДЕТ", by Serguei Lavrov, Trud, June 24, 2005. Text adapted from an interview. We have only taken the extracts concerning Iraq.