The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister (Igor Ivanov) is in Iraq, and reiterated his government’s opposition to a US strike on that country. He implied that the US has been lobbying the other members of the UN Security Council to go along. (France is also opposed, so far). Ivanov did, however, urge Iraq to bring back the UN weapons inspectors, as a step to resolving the problem. Russia has long-term ties to Iraq and is owed $9 bn. by Baghdad.