- Title: RUSSIA: Russia's Putin meets the UN chief at the Kremlin
- Date: 8th April 2008
- Summary: (W3) MOSCOW, RUSSIA (APRIL 9, 2008) (REUTERS) RED SQUARE/ KREMLIN RUSSIA'S OUTGOING PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN GREETS UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL BAN KI-MOON/ PUTIN AND BAN SHAKING HANDS/ PUTIN GREETING OTHER UN OFFICIALS TRAVELLING WITH BAN TELEVISION CAMERAMEN PUTIN, BAN, AND DELEGATIONS TAKE SEATS PUTIN ADDRESSING BAN BAN ADDRESSING PUTIN WIDE OF TALKS
- Embargoed: 23rd April 2008 13:00
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVAA92DD06398ZF7LFUG6BOF7HRD
- Story Text: Kosovo expected to top talks between Russia's outgoing President Vladimir Putin and the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon at the Kremlin in Moscow.
Russia's outgoing President Vladimir Putin met the UN secretary general in Moscow on Wednesday (April 9). Putin, who is due to step down on May 7, is widely expected to be Russia's next prime minister.
Ban Ki-moon, was making his first visit to Russia as UN chief, since he took up the post in Jan. 2007. Diplomats said the fact he had not come sooner rankled with Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Earlier on Wednesday, Ban held talks with Russia's president-elect Dmitry Medvedev.
Kosovo is expected to figure prominently on the agenda for Ban's two-day visit, which will also include talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday (April 10).
Moscow has queried Ban's neutrality over Kosovo since it declared its independence from Serbia in February and believes his interpretation of a Security Council resolution on the UN Mission to Kosovo favours the West.
The United States, France and Britain recognised Kosovo's independence but Russia called the declaration illegitimate. A UN Security Council debate on Kosovo is scheduled for April 21.
Russia said the independence declaration created a dangerous precedent and would stir up future trouble in the Balkans.
Kommersant newspaper reported that during the meeting with Medvedev, Ban Ki-moon would be told of Moscow's willingness to increase its annual contribution to the UN to roughly the same as the United States -- a huge 20-fold hike in its fees.
In 2006 the United States contributed $423 million and Russia $21.2 million.
Other G8 member states like Japan, France and the United Kingdom paid in substantially more in 2006 than Russia.ENDS
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