UN sanctions resolution on Iran 'fully agreed': Russia
The latest UN sanctions resolution against Iran has been fully agreed and no problems remain ahead of its adoption, a high-ranking Russian official close to the talks said on Tuesday.
"It (the resolution) is fully agreed upon," the official, who asked not to be named, told reporters.
"We do not see any problems for the adoption of the resolution," the official added.
Russia is one of five permanent, veto-wielding UN Security Council members.
Along with China, it has acted in the past to water down UN Security Council measures against Tehran. However over the last weeks there have been mounting signs of Russian frustration over Iran's defiance in the nuclear crisis.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had earlier said in Istanbul that the sanctions have been "practically agreed upon", the ITAR-TASS news agency reported.
"Our point of view is that these decisions should not be excessive and should not put the Iranian people in a complicated position which would put up barriers on the path to peaceful nuclear energy," Putin added.
Despite its strong energy and defence ties with Iran, Russia has backed a new sanctions drive at the UN Security Council, provoking fury amongst the Iranian leadership.
Moscow has also reacted coolly to a nuclear fuel deal aimed at defusing the standoff that was brokered by Brazil and Turkey earlier this month, a stance which disappointed Tehran.
Firebrand Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in May bluntly accused Russian President Dmitry Medvedev of siding with Tehran's enemies, like arch-foe the United States, in the crisis over the Iranian nuclear drive.
However Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said the draft resolution against Iran contains no paralyzing sanctions and takes into account the interests of Russia and China.
"We excluded conditions aimed at imposing paralyzing sanctions and in the end the draft is focused exclusively on tasks of non-proliferation of nuclear arms," he said on a visit to China earlier this month.
"As much as possible it takes into account the economic interests of Russia and China," he added.
Russia has been helping Iran build its first nuclear plant in the southern city of Bushehr since the mid-90s, a project whose start-up has been repeatedly delayed.
Sergei Kiriyenko, chief of Russia's nuclear state corporation, Tuesday reiterated the power plant would be ready to come online by the end of the summer.
© 2010 AFP