Russia: Let U.N. check Powell data
By CNN Moscow Bureau Chief Jill Dougherty
MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Russia's Foreign Ministry says it will carefully listen to the evidence U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell presents to the United Nations next week on Iraq, but it wants the data to be checked out by international inspectors.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, in a news conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, said: "The information that our American colleagues will present must be then given to the international inspectors who must use it in their work and give their corresponding evaluation of it."
He did not indicate if Russia believes the inspectors should be given any deadline for evaluating the Powell data, or if the U.N. Security Council should pass another resolution giving Iraq a deadline to comply with the council's demands.
Ivanov also said on Thursday the United States has given Russia no evidence so far proving that there is a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.
Washington, he said, as partners in the war on terrorism, has given Moscow information on where al Qaeda gets its support, but Iraq was never mentioned in that data. "If such information is presented to us, we will analyze it," he said, "and on that basis make our determination."