Russian Envoy: U.N. Iraq Vote May Be This Week

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A Russian diplomat said Tuesday that the U.N. Security Council (search) could vote this week on a resolution whose main goal would be to establish a U.N. mission in Iraq (search), the Interfax news agency reported.

Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov (search) said that Russia intends to work "constructively" on plans for a new Security Council resolution and that consultations on the issue are being held at the United Nations, Interfax reported.

He said that the main aim of the resolution would be to set up a U.N. mission in Iraq, a goal that U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan (search) urged Security Council members to work on last week.

Russia has circulated a draft of a resolution that would establish a U.N. mission, but council diplomats said last week that the United States isn't convinced there's a need for one yet because Iraq already has the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority and the Governing Council.

Russia, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, vehemently opposed the U.S.-led war against Iraq and has called for a stronger U.N. role in postwar Iraq. At the same time, it has sought to patch up relations with the United States, which were damaged by the disagreement over the war.