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    MOSCOW, February 16, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Andrey Malosolov). Russia's support to UN's role in international affairs remains unchanged.

    The Government Information Department (GID) officials told journalists this was what Russian Prime-Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said on Monday at the meeting with Mark Malloch Brown, UNDP Administrator, who is in Russia as Government's guest.

    In the course of the meeting, the sides discussed certain vital issues of further cooperation of Russia and UN's economic and social agencies.

    "Mikhail Kasyanov emphasized that the Russian Federation is deeply concerned to step up the cooperation and enhance its effectiveness," the sources are quoted as saying.

    Kasyanov and Malloch Brown exchanged views on the existing opportunities of the UNDP to facilitate the economic reform in Russia, including in such critical fields as utility services, power engineering, and rail transport.

    Kasyanov praised the active involvement of the UN in the Russian regions and confirmed that the country is interested in spreading its borders.

    "The sides expressed satisfaction with the first positive steps taken to arrange the UN-led project activity in the Northern Caucasus, and particularly in Ingushetia," DPI sources said.

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