At the start of the 21st century we live in a new, closely interrelated world, in which unprecedented new threats and challenges demand increasingly united responses. Consequently, we, the member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Russian Federation are today opening a new page in our relations, aimed at enhancing our ability to work together in areas of common interest and to stand together against common threats and risks to our security. As participants of the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security, we reaffirm the goals, principles and commitments set forth therein, in particular our determination to build together a lasting and inclusive peace in the Euro-Atlantic area on the principles of democracy and cooperative security and the principle that the security of all states in the Euro-Atlantic community is indivisible. We are convinced that a qualitatively new relationship between NATO and the Russian Federation will constitute an essential contribution in achieving this goal. In this context, we will observe in good faith our obligations under international law, including the UN Charter, provisions and principles contained in the Helsinki Final Act and the OSCE Charter for European Security.
Building on the Founding Act and taking into account the initiative taken by our Foreign Ministers, as reflected in their statement of 7 December 2001, to bring together NATO member states and Russia to identify and pursue opportunities for joint action at twenty, we hereby establish the NATO-Russia Council. In the framework of the NATO-Russia Council, NATO member states and Russia will work as equal partners in areas of common interest. The NATO-Russia Council will provide a mechanism for consultation, consensus-building, cooperation, joint decision, and joint action for the member states of NATO and Russia on a wide spectrum of security issues in the Euro-Atlantic region.
The NATO-Russia Council will serve as the principal structure and venue for advancing the relationship between NATO and Russia. It will operate on the principle of consensus. It will work on the basis of a continuous political dialogue on security issues among its members with a view to early identification of emerging problems, determination of optimal common approaches and the conduct of joint actions, as appropriate. The members of the NATO-Russia Council, acting in their national capacities and in a manner consistent with their respective collective commitments and obligations, will take joint decisions and will bear equal responsibility, individually and jointly, for their implementation. Each member may raise in the NATO-Russia Council issues related to the implementation of joint decisions.
The NATO-Russia Council will be chaired by the Secretary General of NATO. It will meet at the level of Foreign Ministers and at the level of Defence Ministers twice annually, and at the level of Heads of State and Government as appropriate. Meetings of the Council at Ambassadorial level will be held at least once a month, with the possibility of more frequent meetings as needed, including extraordinary meetings, which will take place at the request of any Member or the NATO Secretary General.
To support and prepare the meetings of the Council a Preparatory Committee is established, at the level of the NATO Political Committee, with Russian representation at the appropriate level. The Preparatory Committee will meet twice monthly, or more often if necessary. The NATO-Russia Council may also establish committees or working groups for individual subjects or areas of cooperation on an ad hoc or permanent basis, as appropriate. Such committees and working groups will draw upon the resources of existing NATO committees.
Under the auspices of the Council, military representatives and Chiefs of Staff will also meet. Meetings of Chiefs of Staff will take place no less than twice a year, meetings at military representatives level at least once a month, with the possibility of more frequent meetings as needed. Meetings of military experts may be convened as appropriate.
The NATO-Russia Council, replacing the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council, will focus on all areas of mutual interest identified in Section III of the Founding Act, including the provision to add other areas by mutual agreement. The work programmes for 2002 agreed in December 2001 for the PJC and its subordinate bodies will continue to be implemented under the auspices and rules of the NATO-Russia Council. NATO member states and Russia will continue to intensify their cooperation in areas including the struggle against terrorism, crisis management, non-proliferation, arms control and confidence-building measures, theatre missile defence, search and rescue at sea, military-to-military cooperation, and civil emergencies. This cooperation may complement cooperation in other fora. As initial steps in this regard, we have today agreed to pursue the following cooperative efforts:
- Struggle Against Terrorism: strengthen cooperation through a multi-faceted approach, including joint assessments of the terrorist threat to the Euro-Atlantic area, focused on specific threats, for example, to Russian and NATO forces, to civilian aircraft, or to critical infrastructure; an initial step will be a joint assessment of the terrorist threat to NATO, Russia and Partner peacekeeping forces in the Balkans.
- Crisis Management: strengthen cooperation, including through: regular exchanges of views and information on peacekeeping operations, including continuing cooperation and consultations on the situation in the Balkans; promoting interoperability between national peacekeeping contingents, including through joint or coordinated training initiatives; and further development of a generic concept for joint NATO-Russia peacekeeping operations.
- Non-Proliferation: broaden and strengthen cooperation against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the means of their delivery, and contribute to strengthening existing non-proliferation arrangements through: a structured exchange of views, leading to a joint assessment of global trends in proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical agents; and exchange of experience with the goal of exploring opportunities for intensified practical cooperation on protection from nuclear, biological and chemical agents.
- Arms Control and Confidence-Building Measures: recalling the contributions of arms control and confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs) to stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and reaffirming adherence to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) as a cornerstone of European security, work cooperatively toward ratification by all the States Parties and entry into force of the Agreement on Adaptation of the CFE Treaty, which would permit accession by non-CFE states; continue consultations on the CFE and Open Skies Treaties; and continue the NATO-Russia nuclear experts consultations.
- Theatre Missile Defence: enhance consultations on theatre missile defence (TMD), in particular on TMD concepts, terminology, systems and system capabilities, to analyse and evaluate possible levels of interoperability among respective TMD systems, and explore opportunities for intensified practical cooperation, including joint training and exercises.
- Search and Rescue at Sea: monitor the implementation of the NATO-Russia Framework Document on Submarine Crew Rescue, and continue to promote cooperation, transparency and confidence between NATO and Russia in the area of search and rescue at sea.
- Military-to-Military Cooperation and Defence Reform: pursue enhanced military-to-military cooperation and interoperability through enhanced joint training and exercises and the conduct of joint demonstrations and tests; explore the possibility of establishing an integrated NATO-Russia military training centre for missions to address the challenges of the 21st century; enhance cooperation on defence reform and its economic aspects, including conversion.
- Civil Emergencies: pursue enhanced mechanisms for future NATO-Russia cooperation in responding to civil emergencies. Initial steps will include the exchange of information on recent disasters and the exchange of WMD consequence management information.
- New Threats and Challenges: In addition to the areas enumerated above, explore possibilities for confronting new challenges and threats to the Euro-Atlantic area in the framework of the activities of the NATO Committee on Challenges to Modern Society (CCMS); initiate cooperation in the field of civil and military airspace controls; and pursue enhanced scientific cooperation.
The members of the NATO-Russia Council will work with a view to identifying further areas of cooperation.