RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY CALLS IRAQI NEWSPAPER REPORT NONSENSE

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MOSCOW, September 30 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Foreign Ministry has called "nonsense" the report of an Iraqi newspaper that Russia would send 40,000 soldiers to Iraq.

"It is not the affair of the Russian foreign policy establishment to comment on such stupidity," the ministry said.

On Thursday the Iraqi independent newspaper Al-Shahid came up with the assertion that 40,000 Russian soldiers are ready to arrive in Iraq.

The Russian leadership made the decision "to join the US-led alliance" after Beslan, the front-page report says.

The newspaper maintains that it has "indisputable information" that Washington has "persuaded Moscow into joining the alliance against international terrorism."

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