RUSSIAN EXPORTERS OPERATED IN IRAQ WITHIN SANCTIONED REGIME

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MOSCOW, November 17 (RIA Novosti) - During the humanitarian operation in Iraq, Russian exporters operated in abidance by the sanctioned regime. This was said during the consultations, held at the Russian Foreign Ministry on November 15 to 16, with representatives of the Faulkner Commission investigating into abuses within the former UN

Iraq humanitarian programme Oil for Food.

The observance of sanctions was regulated by the normative acts of the Russian Federation, says the Press and Information Board of the Russian Foreign Ministry in the communique, which has come to hand at RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

The United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan decided to set up the commission, led by ex-head of the United States Federal Reserve System Paul Faulkner, after reports on abuses allegedly made by the UN Secretariat and the private companies of some states within the framework of the Oil for Food programme.

In answer to Kofi Annan's April 21, 2004 appeal, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1538, welcoming an independent investigation.

The Russian Foreign Ministry notes that, as regards possible abuses within the humanitarian aid programme, "members of the commission have been told that the former committee of the United Nations Security Council on sanctions regarding Iraq has never been provided with additional proofs of violation of the regime of sanctions in connection with the conduct of the humanitarian operation". "All the allegations to this effect were based, to this or that degree, on mass media reports", the ministry added.

Members of the Faulkner Commission have assured that they are going to carry out a wholly independent investigation and noted "the impermissibility of drawing conclusions on violations of the regime of sanctions basing on unproven reports", stresses the communique of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

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