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UNITED NATIONS, August 3. /TASS/. The election of Ban Ki-moon as the UN Secretary-General in 2006 was the right decision, Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said in an interview to TASS.
"In 2006, the right choice was made in the election of the UN Secretary-General," he said. "It is very important that Ban Ki-moon has established such an open dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov."
According to Churkin, he had "no problems working with the UN Secretary-General." "He works very hard, and when he is in New York City, it is easy to meet him," the diplomat said.
"The Secretary-General, especially recently, has expressed bold views on a number of issues that the powerful may dislike. He is a person — and this is very important — who listens, but he does not yield to pressure. Pressure has been exerted on him in some cases: do this, don’t do that, but he still acted based on his own ideas," said the Russian UN ambassador. "In my view, a certain leadership is expected from the UN Secretary-General in the modern world, but at the same time he cannot break away from the wicked world. Not to mention the fact that the main work — political — is carried out by the Secretary-General based on decisions taken by the Security Council."
"Ban Ki-moon was elected, when it was Asia’s turn, and now the Eastern European group [in the UN] quite desperately says a representative of Eastern Europe" should head the UN, the diplomat said, adding that regional group’s representatives have even wrote a letter to the General Assembly president on this issue. "We support them, but I remind the colleagues from time to time that when the Asian group elected Ban Ki-moon, President of Latvia [Vaira] Vike-Freiberga put forward her candidacy and figured among the six candidates," Churkin said.
"There are also several quite good East European candidates now, and in my opinion, these people deserve to take charge of the organization. There is a woman among them - Irina Bokova. Apparently, there will be more women candidates. When Ban Ki-moon was elected everything went rather smoothly: the debate started in July, and in early October the agreement was reached. I cannot rule out the possibility that this time everything will be more complicated," the Russian ambassador to the UN said.