UN votes must be obeyed: Medvedev

Russia’s incoming President Dmitry Medvedev has told Ban Ki-moon that bypassing UN resolutions is counter-productive and endangers world stability. Ban is on his first official visit to Moscow as the UN Secretary General.

Medvedev pledged Russia's support to the UN, insisting that talk of an organisational crisis is groundless.

“Any attempt to act in violation of United Nations resolutions, as was the case with Kosovo, is wrong. Initiatives to resolve contemporary issues without UN involvement, or by breaching its decisions, are inappropriate,” Medvedev said.

“There is no other universal platform where countries can meet to discuss and co-ordinate their positions on international affairs and security in the modern world,” he said.

The UN Secretary General has supported Russia’s initiative to hold a Middle East Peace Conference in Moscow.

Ban Ki-moon also met Russia's outgoing President Vladimir Putin. Despite some criticism, Putin said the UN still plays an important role.   

“We proceed from the premise that the UN is the only one universal international organisation. And this is the key element in the overall international system today. And this is exactly the way we address the activities of the organisation and the problems that have to do with its development,” he said.  

Ban Ki-moon, for his part, underlined the importance of Russia to the UN. He also complimented Putin’s work as President.

“I’d like to pay my deepest respect to you, for your leadership, initiative. You have really enhanced the role, visibility and profile of the Russian federation in the international community,” he added.   

Ban Ki-moon is set to meet the Foreign Minister and other officials. During his three-day visit, he will also talk to leaders of local NGOs and give a speech to students at one of Moscow’s universities.

He is also expected to discuss the creation of a special council on religious affairs at the UN when he meets Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Aleksy II.

Meanwhile, Russian officials want more of their citizens to work at the UN.

“The growing and strengthening role of Russia in international affairs, which is not denied even by the most obvious sceptics, must be reflected by its larger representation in the divisions of the UN Secretariat, including its administration. We plan to discuss the issue in detail with the Secretary General,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said.