'Companies did'nt violate the UN-Iraq oil-for-food sanctions'

MOSCOW —Russian diplomats told members of a commission investigating alleged abuses of the U.N. oil-for-food programme Thursday that Russian companies didn't violate sanctions against Iraq while participating in the programme, the Foreign Ministry said.

By (AP)

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Published: Sat 27 Aug 2005, 10:31 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 4:16 PM

The commission members, led by former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, met with Foreign Ministry officials during their third visit to Russia while investigating the scandal-tainted humanitarian programme. The other visits occurred late last year. The Russians told the commission that our companies, as they have officially informed the Foreign Ministry, acted in strict accordance with (U.N. sanctions against Iraq) and with Russian law, the ministry said in a statement.

Russian companies and individuals were heavily involved in the oil-for-food programme, which allowed Saddam Hussein's Iraq to sell oil to pay for humanitarian goods despite the U.N. sanctions imposed on his country after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Investigations have found that Saddam manipulated the programme to obtain illegal revenues and try to influence officials and political figures in foreign countries, particularly those with veto power in the U.N. Security Council, such as Russia and France.

Russia has criticized US reports that alleged Russian involvement in the machinations, and companies and individuals involved have denied wrongdoing. The ministry said commission members also met with company representatives during their visit.

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