According to Yuri Fedotov, the Director of the Department of International Organisations of Russia's Foreign Ministry, Kofi Annan, the UN's Secretary General, will be awarded the Medal of Gorchakov during his visit to Moscow, June 4 through 6. The medal established by the Foreign Ministry of Russia is awarded to diplomats who significantly advance the art of diplomacy. Mr. Annan will be the third to receive the award.
During this visit, Mr. Annan is expected to have meetings with the president of Russia, the leaders of the two chambers of Russia's parliament, and Alexi II, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
During these meetings, the Secretary General of the UN will discuss a number of issues related to the activities, under the auspices of United Nations, of the anti-terrorist coalition and the anti-terrorist committee co-chaired by Russia. Also discussed will be post-Taliban Afghanistan. The United Nations is responsible for coordinating international efforts directed at rehabilitating the country. This includes the creation of industry and agriculture alternative to the presently existing, excluding the production of illegal drugs. The agenda will also touch upon the Middle Eastern settlement and the problem of Iraq.
During the meetings, besides the current crises and conflicts, Mr. Annan expects to discuss a wide spectre of issues concerning the challenges of our time, such as the stable development of cities and the spread of AIDS.
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Eyewitnesses said that explosions could be heard in the centre of Kyiv. Smoke was seen rising above Zhuliany Airport (Kyiv International Airport)