Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said Friday that Russia opposes passing a new U.N. Security Council resolution that would authorize the use of force against Iraq.

"We do not see today any grounds for passing a U.N. resolution that would envisage or sanction the use of force against Iraq," Ivanov said following a meeting with the Finnish foreign minister.

"We always underlined that the use of force is an extreme measure, which involves grave consequences for the country and grave international consequences and it should only be applied in extreme situations," he said.

Russia says international weapons inspectors should be given more time and that there is still time to find a political solution to the crisis over allegations that Iraq has a weapons of mass destruction program.

"The problems of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq can be solved by political means. There are all opportunities for that," Ivanov said.

Ivanov apparently was reacting to remarks made Thursday by President Bush that "the game is over for Saddam Hussein." His remarks came just days before Russian President Vladimir Putin was to travel to Germany and France, both of which oppose the use of force against Iraq.

"The problems of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq can be solved by political means. There are all opportunities for that," Ivanov said.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell gave a presentation to the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday in which he presented recordings, satellite photos and informants' statements to prove his case that Iraq has defied international demands to disarm.

Ivanov previously had said the presentation only served to show that further inspections were necessary.

Earlier Friday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov said Russia had no current plans to change its position on Iraq but said much will depend on the chief U.N. weapons inspectors' visit to Baghdad this weekend.

Blix and ElBaradei head to Baghdad this weekend and are expected to report their findings to the Security Council on Feb. 14.

Russia consistently has pushed for a political settlement of the Iraq crisis and urged the U.S. not to act unilaterally.

Fedotov also urged Iraq to cooperate fully with the United Nations.

Iraq "should likewise show major decisiveness in cooperating with international inspectors," he said.