Russia has called for major changes to be made to a new US-sponsored
draft resolution envisaging the lifting of economic sanctions against
The draft gives the UN more of a role in rebuilding Iraq
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri
Fedotov said China shared Moscow's concerns about the amended draft presented to the United Nations.
"We believe that parts of this draft
resolution require serious alteration," he said after talks with his Chinese counterpart Yang Wenchang.
"In its present form, the draft resolution creates serious problems for our countries," he added.
Russia is anxious to secure UN involvement in Iraq to
avoid losing billions of dollars owed by Baghdad and invested in Iraqi
Its position is broadly supported by China and France.
All three have veto powers in the UN Security Council and opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq.
In addition to calling for the lifting of UN sanctions ,
the draft resolution defines a highly influential role for the US and
UK as occupying powers to determine how the profits from Iraqi oil
sales should be spent.
The BBC's UN correspondent, Greg Barrow, says the new
text goes some way to addressing Russia's concerns and strengthens the
role of the UN in post-war Iraq - but only slightly.
Security Council split
No date has been set for discussion in the UN Security Council.
The US and Britain, which are jointly sponsoring the resolution with Spain, are believed to want a vote to be held next week.
Could total almost $400bn:
$199bn in Gulf War compensation claims
$127bn debt, including $47bn
$57bn owed for pending contracts - mostly to Russia
Source: US Center for Strategic and International Studies
But this may be resisted by other Council members who say negotiations on the wording have not even begun.
The new draft concedes that a UN special co-ordinator
should now work "intensively" with the occupying powers in helping to
restore and establish national and local institutions.
Diplomatic sources say one significant change has been made in relation to funds generated by Iraqi oil sales.
The new draft concedes that, once an internationally
recognised government is established in Iraq, such funds could be open
again to claims from nations or entities owed money as a result of
contracts established before the war.
It also calls for oil revenues, now under UN control, to
be put into a Development Fund for Iraq instead of the previously named
Iraqi Assistance Fund.