Russia Pledges Support for Stronger U.N.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday pledged his support for a stronger United Nations based on international law, according to the U.N. spokesmen's office.

In his meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Friday evening, Putin, who is here attending the three-day U.N. Millennium Summit which just concluded, expressed his satisfaction with the summit exercise, and in particular with roundtable discussions among heads of state or government.

Putin and Annan agreed that the most difficult part laying ahead is to implement the United Nations Millennium Declaration adopted at the end of the summit.

During the meeting, they discussed conflict resolution, rapid reaction capability for peacekeepers, post-conflict reconstruction and the U.N. reform.

Putin expressed interest in reviving the U.N. Military Staff Committee which coordinates military activity of the five permanent members of the Security Council in support of international peace and security, but which has never been effective.

At the meeting, Putin said the founding principles of the U.N. must be upheld and he emphasized the importance of member states operating on the basis of consensus.

On Iraq, Putin told the U.N. chief that Russia has lost 30 billion U.S. dollars due to the sanctions regime against that country.

They also discussed the on-going efforts to bring about full compliance with the Security Council resolutions on Iraq.

People's Daily Online ---