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    MOSCOW, April 5, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov has held a meeting with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, who is in Russia on a 3-day official visit. The Russian premier emphasized that Russia advocated a stronger role for the UN in international affairs.

    This is Russia's strategic course, emphasized Mr Fradkov.

    The premier said the Russia-initiated process of establishing a system to counter modern challenges and threats under the UN aegis was a step in that direction.

    Mr Fradkov also said he attached great importance to cooperation between Russia's business community and the UN in the framework of the Agreement on Common Values and Principles initiated by the UN chief.

    Mr Fradkov said Russian companies' involvement in the initiative was an important factor in enhancing business' social responsibility.

    The premier also said Russia would increase the amount of humanitarian aid to other countries. Cooperation in the humanitarian area was among the issues that dominated the Moscow meeting.

    Mr Fradkov praised the improvement of the UN's financial state and emphasized that Russia had no debts to the UN's regular and peacemaking budgets.

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