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    KOFI ANNAN TO MEET RUSSIAN LEADERSHIP IN MOSCOW

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    MOSCOW, April 04, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - During his official visit to Moscow on April 4-6, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will hold a number of meetings with the Russian leadership.

    He will be received by Russian President Vladimir Putin, RIA Novosti learned at the UN information center in Moscow.

    Mr. Annan will also hold talks with Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov.

    "The forthcoming talks are expected to contribute to further expansion of constructive cooperation between Russia and the UN in order to solve the topical international problems the world community is now facing," the Kremlin's press service reported.

    The centerpiece of Annan's Moscow talks will be the Kosovo crisis and Russia's possible participation in Iraq's post-war settlement, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

    According to the diplomat, the parties will discuss issues related to the UN involvement in settling crises in different regions of the world and increase of the organization's peacekeeping potential.

    "Russia is interested in permanent dialogue with UN leadership on the most topical issues of international politics," Mr. Fedotov pointed out.

    Apart from talks with the Russian leadership, the UN Secretary General together with the Russian Foreign Minister will attend the opening ceremony of the Moscow International UN Model on April 5th.

    It is a role play (a training in international diplomacy), which models real UN sessions. Students and schoolchildren from Russia, the CIS and other countries act as representatives of different states.

    On Tuesday, April 6th, Mr. Annan will visit the State Duma and then leave for Geneva to participate in the session of the UN Human Rights Commission.

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