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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Annan: Russians to Help Run Kosovo

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan promised Wednesday to include Russian officials in a civil administration for Kosovo, acknowledging Moscow's help in solving the crisis.

"I'm going to have it in the configuration that we will have Russians in the team," Annan said after the talks with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. "I can't give you as of today the exact number of Russian nationals."

The interim civilian administration will oversee the huge civilian operation aimed at rebuilding Kosovo after the devastating war and securing a safe future for the province's inhabitants.

Under the plan for Kosovo, which Annan unveiled last week, the UN peace-building mission will have four deputies serving under a special representative.

Earlier this week, Annan appointed a French official and a New Zealand refugee expert as deputies to the representative, who hasn't been named yet.

"I have a list of very good names, but I haven't decided on the representative yet," Annan told reporters. "I hope to do it very shortly."

Annan has said that the special representative would be a European.

"In putting together the leadership that will manage a civil administration I would ensure that key governments and governments with particular interest in this crisis are all represented in the leadership," he said Wednesday.

Annan thanked President Boris Yeltsin, envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin and Ivanov for helping solve the conflict. He also thanked Russia for defending a greater role for the United Nations.

Russia maintained throughout the crisis that it was a matter to be settled by the United Nations, not by NATO.

"I'm ... very grateful for the stern support that we in the United Nations have received from the Russian Federation and President Yeltsin in particular," Annan said. "Without the United Nations, without the strengthened and active UN, the world would be the much messier place than it is."

Annan also met Wednesday with Vyacheslav Trubnikov, the chief of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, a KGB successor agency. No details of the meeting were released, but NTV television speculated they might have discussed allegations that the U.S. secret services used a UN Special Commission charged with disarming Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction to eavesdrop on Iraq.

Along with the Balkans, Annan and Ivanov discussed the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan and relations between India and Pakistan, as well as conflicts in the former Soviet republics.

Annan is scheduled to meet with Yeltsin on Thursday.