russia says 'nyet' to new un resolution

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    Russia says 'nyet' to new UN resolution
    March 8 2003

    Russia will do everything it can to ensure that an amended draft UN resolution that sets a March 17 deadline for Iraq to disarm is not passed by the Security Council, Russia's deputy foreign minister Yuri Fedotov told the BBC today.

    "Russia is determined to do everthing to not let pass this resolution," said when asked if Russia would abstain or if it was prepared to use its veto on the Security Council to scupper the resolution proposed by the US and Britain.

    "Russia has repeatedly stated that we don't believe that it is time to adopt any resolutions on the Security Council," Fedotov told BBC television's Newsnight program.

    "Instead, everything has to be done to support the work of UN (weapons) inspectors.

    "They have enough resolutions ... which contain the real mandate for the continuation of inspections.

    "Russia is negative with regard to the draft resolution. This amendment doesn't change the nature of the draft, which is aimed at starting a war.

    "So our position remains the same. Russia is highly negative towards this draft resolution. We believe this resolution will not be passed by the Security Council."

    Fedotov was speaking after the United States and Britain pushed for quick adoption of a new UN resolution that sets a March 17 deadline for Iraq to disarm or face military action.

    The amendment submitted today seeks to have the UN declare that Iraq will be deemed to have failed to disarm "unless, on or before March 17, the Council concludes that Iraq has demonstrated full, unconditional, immediate and active cooperation" with UN inspectors.

    Congress estimates Iraq bill $A39.15 billion after first month

    Mounting a war in Iraq may cost an extra $US24 billion ($A39.15 billion) by the end of the first month's fighting, the US Congressional Budget Office forecast today.

    Key estimates were:
    * Sending in the heavy ground force already ammassed in the Gulf region will have cost about $US14 billion ($A22.83 billion) on top of the usual operating costs of the military.
    * The first month of combat would cost $US10 billion ($A16.31 billion), declining to $US8 billion ($A13.05 billion) a month.
    * Returning forces to home bases would cost $US9 billion ($A14.68 billion).
    * Occupation after fighting ends could cost $US1 billion ($A1.63 billion) to $US4 billion ($A6.52 billion) a month.
    * There is no way to estimate the cost of foreign aid.

    Regardless of the composition of the force used, there were many unknowns about a war, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said in its interim analysis of President George W Bush's budget plans.

    "If the Iraqi leadership or selected elements of its military capitulated quickly, ground combat could be short, as in Operation Desert Storm," the bipartisan office said.

    "If urban fighting was protracted or Iraq used chemical or biological weapons against regional military or transportation facilities, the war could last longer," it warned.

    "Given such uncertainty, CBO's estimates of the monthly costs of operations exclude expenditures for decontaminating areas or equipment affected by chemical or biological weapons."

    A war with Iraq could lead to substantial costs in later years, it said, but the CBO did not include such costs because they could not be assessed even roughly or they depended on uncertain policy decisions.

    "For example, the United States might leave troops or equipment in Iraq, which could require the construction of new military bases," the CBO report said.

    "Also, sustaining the occupation over time could require either increases in overall levels of active duty and reserve forces or major changes in current policies on basing and deployment."

    The United States might provide Iraq with funds for humanitarian assistance and reconstruction, and it might provide substantial aid to allies and other friendly nations in the region.

    "Attaching estimates to any such costs would be quite speculative," the office said.

    The CBO estimate is highly regarded because its members include both Republicans and Democrats.

    US President George W Bush's budget provided no estimates for a war. He said yesterday the White House would present Congress with a supplemental budget request soon if it decided to go to war.

    One study by Yale professor William Nordhaus - War With Iraq: costs, consequences and alternatives - estimated that a short war may cost the US economy $US100 billion ($A163.11 billion) and a long war $US1.9 trillion ($A3.1 trillion) over the next decade.

    The $US1.9 trillion ($A3.1 trillion) bill would include $US140 billion ($A228.35 billion) for military costs, $US500 billion ($A815.53 billion) for peacekeeping, $US105 billion ($A171.26 billion) for reconstruction, $US78 billion ($A127.22 billion) in the impact from higher oil markets and $US391 billion ($A637.74 billion) for the economic shock.

    - AFP

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