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International Views: UN and Russia in Kosovo

June 23, 1999 at 12:00 PM EDT

IGOR IVANOV, Russian Foreign Minister: Good day, we have had substantive talks with the U.N. Secretary General Mr. Kofi Annan. We studied the situation in the world and the role of the United Nations Organization.

We proceed from the premise that the United Nations Organization should play the most active role in the settlement of international conflicts, in the resolution of other problems encountered by the international community.

The latest Russian initiative set forth by the President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin in Cologne at the last meeting of the G-8 is directed precisely at intensifying the role of the United Nations.

We studied in detail the development of the situation in the Balkans, around Kosovo. After we succeeded through joint effort in stopping the war it is important on the basis of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244 to deploy international presence to resolve the problems that face the region.

And the key role in solving these problems should be played by the United Nations Organization.

We also studied the development of the situation in the Persian Gulf, around Iraq, in the Middle East, Afghanistan, the relations between India and Pakistan. We also discussed the situation in conflict areas on the territory of the CIS.

Tomorrow the U.N. Secretary General will be received by the President of the Russian Federation Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin.

KOFI ANNAN, United Nations Secretary-General: As the Minister has told you we had a chance to go over a whole range of issues. And this meeting also gave me the opportunity to thank him for the role the Russian Federation played in the recent crisis and I think without the crucial role of President Yeltsin, Minister Ivanov and Mr. Chernomyrdin we would, perhaps, not be where we are today with the political settlement and pushing ahead with the implementation of the Security Council resolution.

I am also very grateful for the strong support that the United Nations has received from the Russian Federation, from President Yeltsin in particular. Because without a United Nations, without a strengthened and active United Nations the world would be a much messier place than it is.

We will continue cooperation and also agree that it is essential that we will reform and adapt the U.N. to make it capable of tackling the challenges we face today.

REPORTER: Mr. Secretary General, have you already decided on who will represent you in the civil administration? How many places in the civil administration will be given to representatives of Russia?

KOFI ANNAN: I have a list of very good names. But I haven’t decided on the representative yet. I hope to do it very shortly. And in putting together the leadership that will manage the civil administration I would ensure that key governments and governments with particular interest in this crisis are all represented in the leadership.

I cannot give you as of today the exact number of Russian nationals I am going to have in that configuration. But we will have Russians in the team, thank you.