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#7 - JRL 7070
Russia has no plans to get involved in Iraq war - General Staff

Moscow, 19 February: The Russian armed forces do not plan to participate in any military operations in the event of the USA starting a war against Iraq, the first deputy chief of the General Staff, Col-Gen Yuriy Baluyevskiy, said at a news conference on Wednesday [19 February].

"The situation in the Persian Gulf is very complicated at the moment, and the expenditure on the deployment of US and UK forces to the Gulf region has already assumed staggering proportions. However, in the event of the situation entering a military phase, the Russian armed forces do not plan to participate in any way in these military operations," said Baluyevskiy.

He also stated that there are no plans to put the armed forces on heightened combat alert if war breaks out in Iraq. "Nonetheless, certain units of the armed forces, which monitor the situation in the region of the Persian Gulf, are already working very intensively," Baluyevskiy told journalists.

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