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MOSCOW, June 11. /TASS/. Russia's Foreign Minister and a senior official of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed an agreement on Thursday to launch a $25 million trust fund between the Russian government and the UN agency.
"In doing so, we have taken another step in developing strategic partnership after signing a framework agreement in January," said Sergey Lavrov.
"This will focus on development in countries that are our close neighbours," he said, identifying nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States and looking to the fund's formation before 2019.
"We have already rendered assistance to Tajikistan, Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan through the UNDP," the minister said. "Setting up a trust fund may help continue these efforts and leaves open the possibility of providing assistance to other countries that need help in meeting the [UNDP] Millennium Development Goals."
UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said the accord took partnership to a new level, hoping the two sides would make a significant contribution to improving the lives of those needing help.