Speaking at the end of the EU summit in Brussels on 21 March, French President Jacques Chirac said that he would reject any resolution that ‘would legitimise the military intervention and would give the belligerents the powers to administer Iraq’. He was reacting to an appeal by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for a UN resolution on establishing a post-war ‘civil authority in Iraq’. Chirac also said that the EU could not consider its role in reconstruction while war was still going on, following Blair’s statement that the EU should play a key part in the post-war settlement. The French President said that the US and the UK had violated international law in their attack on Iraq.

Paris’s doubts about any UN mandate dealing with post-war reconstruction were echoed by Moscow the following day. ‘Attempts will no doubt be made in the UN Security Council to find ways which would help to legitimise the military operations and the post-war set-up in Iraq,’ Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told a conference. ‘We will follow this very carefully and we will not, of course, give legitimacy to this action in the Security Council.’ Speaking later to reporters, Ivanov called for an immediate halt to war. ‘I don’t think Iraq needs democracy brought on the wings of a Tomahawk,’ he added.