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    PUTIN HIGHLY ASSESSES UN INTERNATIONAL ROLE

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    MOSCOW, April 5, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin highly assesses the UN's role in the modern world.

    The world has no other effective instrument to solve international problems, Vladimir Putin told UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Monday.

    "You know our attitude to the UN and the development of this organization. The fact that the Russian ambassador to the UN was appointed Foreign Minister confirms our attitude to the development of relations with the UN," the Russian leader said.

    The President also thanked Kofi Annan for his congratulation on Vladimir Putin's reelection to his post on March 14.

    Kofi Annan pointed out the recent easing of tensions in international relations. The countries are united and are solving international problems together, the Secretary General said.

    He expressed hope that this tendency will preserve in the future because only joint efforts can help solve complicated problems.

    Mr. Annan is satisfied with Moscow's support for the formation of a top-level group to combat new threats and challenges. This group should assess the current situation in the world and find solutions to adapt to it, he said.

    Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, President's Aide Sergei Prikhodko, Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov, UN Under-Secretary-General, director general of the UN mission in Europe Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Georgia Heidi Tagliavini, and the UN Secretary General's deputy chief of staff, Elizabeth Lindmeier took part in the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Kofi Annan.

    Kofi Annan arrived in Moscow on Sunday on a three-day official visit. On Monday Mr. Annan and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took part in the opening ceremony of the Moscow International Model UN conference-2004. This is a student game imitating the activities of this international organization.

    In addition, Kofi Annan met with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov.

    Kofi Annan is to discuss with the Russian leadership the implementation of the Russian initiative on the formation of a global system to counter modern threats and challenges under the UN aegis, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko told RIA Novosti.

    "At issue will be the structural consolidation and reinforcement of coordinating possibilities of the Counter Terrorist Committee of the UN Security Council, its cooperation with international and regional anti-terrorist structures including relevant mechanisms of the CIS, the Collective Security Treaty Organization [Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan] and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization [Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan]," Mr. Yakovenko said.

    According to him, Russia backs efforts taken by the UN Secretary General to settle the situation in Iraq.

    "The organization is playing the central role in the post-conflict settlement, in particular, in the elections. Moscow will support the UN stabilizing role in the Middle East and strive for the implementation of the UN Mideastern resolutions in the full volume to provide favorable conditions for peaceful developments," Alexander Yakovenko noted.

    Russia, as well as the UN Secretary General, is much concerned about the sharp aggravation of the situation in Kosovo, the diplomat stressed. "The large-scale outburst of violence provoked by extremists has shown that Resolution 1244 of the UN Security Council is not fulfilled in the full volume yet. Attempts to indulge Kosovo Albanians caused serious risks of the destabilization in the region," Mr. Yakovenko noted.

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