WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States failed to convince Russia on Friday to support its proposals on a new system of U.N. sanctions against Iraq.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said Russia had its own proposals and that more discussions would take place at U.N. headquarters in New York.
Britain and the United States are trying to promote a new system of ``smart sanctions'' against Iraq, easing the restrictions on imports of civilian goods while tightening controls on the smuggling of weapons-related imports.
Ivanov, speaking at a news conference with Secretary of State Colin Powell, said: ``We discussed in great detail the situation with respect to the Iraq settlement. Our U.S. partners put forth their vision, their approach to this issue. We have also our own proposals.
``Our experts have carried out two rounds now of discussions, negotiations or at least exchanges of opinions, And these discussions, I think, will continue in New York.''
Ivanov did not spell out the differences between Russia and the United States but a senior Russian official said on Thursday that Russia was not impressed by the Western plan.
``It is clearly premature to speak of Russian support for this initiative,'' Interfax news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ordzhonikidze as saying.
``There are too many unclear points in the proposals and questions to which we have not got answers in the course of preliminary consultations,'' he said.
Britain and the United States would like the U.N. Security Council to approve the new system by May 31, before the next six-month phase of the U.N. humanitarian oil-for-food program for Iraq begins on June 4.
But China and other Security Council members raised doubts on Thursday whether the offer could be approved quickly. Iraq objects to any plan short of lifting the sanctions entirely.