Thursday, May 01, 2003

Putin to Blair: We Are Not with You and We Don't Believe You
'Tony Blair's first public attempt to heal the diplomatic wounds of the Iraq war suffered a humiliating rebuff yesterday when Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, refused to lift UN sanctions and mocked the possibility that weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq... The two men had a fabled special relationship and Mr Blair had high hopes he would be able to wean Mr Putin away from his new anti-war alliance with France and Germany... Mr Blair had been hoping to use his influence to persuade Russia to agree to the Anglo-US demand to lift sanctions on Iraq in return for giving the UN an as yet unspecified "vital role" in the reconstruction of Iraq and its new government.'

'Mr Putin said Russia and its partners "believe until clarity is achieved over whether weapons of mass destruction exist in Iraq, sanctions should be kept in place". Almost mocking Mr Blair, he went on: "Where is Saddam? Where are those arsenals of weapons of mass destruction, if indeed they ever existed? Perhaps Saddam is still hiding somewhere in a bunker underground, sitting on cases of weapons of mass destruction and is preparing to blow the whole thing up and bring down the lives of thousands of Iraqi people."'

Blair has elsewhere objected that the Franco-German approach would lead to a multi-polar world somewhat similar to the Cold War. Apparently Blair cannot conceive that resistance to hegemony is inevitable and natural. This is a foolish man, that Europe and the world cannot be rid of quickly enough.

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