Russia considers Iraq deployment - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9-4--03

Russia considers Iraq deployment

MOSCOW (CNN) -- Russia's Defense Minister said he was concerned about the situation in Iraq, and that his country would not rule out sending a peacekeeping force to help restore order under United Nations auspices, Russia's Interfax news agency reported.

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov cautioned that such a deployment would be possible if a Security Council resolution on the issue is passed unanimously and is properly worded.

"The Iraqi situation, which is taking a dangerous turn, worries Russia. Terror attacks continue unabated and all kinds of terrorists are converging there. This cannot but worry us," he is quoted as saying.

"A final decision will also depend on the extent to which international standards are upheld in Iraq," Ivanov said.

"It is in Russia's vital interests that legitimate authorities and law and order are reinstated in Iraq as soon as possible," he said.

In another development, the United Kingdom's defense chief has ordered a review of British troop levels in Iraq following a report that the foreign secretary told Prime Minister Tony Blair to send more troops or risk "strategic failure."

In a meeting with Blair, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw proposed deploying 5,000 more British troops to Iraq, according to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, which said it obtained copies of the leaked government.

On Thursday, Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon ordered the troop level review.

A foreign office spokesman said they do not comment on leaked documents, noting "these are confidential meetings between Ministers."

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, on his way to the Persian Gulf, said there was no need to send more American troops to Iraq.

He said the key to a stable Iraq is beefing up Iraqi forces.

"It is their country, they ultimately are going to have to provide security for that country," Rumsfeld said, "and rather than flooding it with American soldiers, it seems to me, it makes all the sense in the world to have a principle effort to strengthen the size of the Iraq security forces, whether it is police, army, the militia, the border patrol, and that is exactly what's been taking place."

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