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    NEW YORK CITY, JANUARY 9 (RIA Novosti correspondent Andrei Loschilin) - It will take expert evaluations by United Nations agencies to dot all i's and cross all t's on the Iraqi mass destruction arms issue. The matter is up to the UNMOVIC, UN monitoring and inspecting commission, and the IAEA, International Atomic Energy Agency, holds Sergei Lavrov, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations. The diplomat emphasised the point as Novosti interviewed him, yesterday, by way of comment on the USA starting withdrawal of its teams who were tracking down alleged NCB arsenals in Iraq, as The New York Times reports.

    According to the daily, the US Administration has given up hope to track down chemical and biological arms in Iraq. At any rate, certain spokesmen of the military have gathered that much from 400 experts' conclusions-that after the White House named those arsenals the main reason for warfare, which started last March.

    Excerpts from a report by an American search crew led by David Kay leaked into the press last autumn. As the report had it, Iraq did not resume mass destruction weapons manufacture ever since United Nations experts came on arsenal remnants to have them and related materials destroyed in the mid-1990s, says Mr. Lavrov.

    Strictly speaking, the USA and the UK ought to provide official information to the UN Security Council about their search crews' achievements, stresses the ambassador. Security Council resolutions made after the war oblige the occupation countries to report to the Council about the fruit of search for Iraqi NCB and related programmes. As the resolutions have it, final conclusions on such programmes are up to independent international agencies-in particular, the IAEA and the UNMOVIC. However, the United States and Great Britain are not cooperating with them as yet, though none but those agencies can have a final say-so on the issue, points out Sergei Lavrov.

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