Opening Statement

by the Secretary General at the NATO-Russia Council at the level of Ministers

  • 20 Nov. 2010
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  • Last updated: 20 Nov. 2010 15:46

Head of the table.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

We have come to a turning point in relations between the 29 countries in the NATO-Russia
Council. All the nations represented here today understand that our security is indivisible. We
share important interests, and face the same threats to our common security. The time has
clearly come to modernise our relationship, and build a true partnership.

Ensemble, ces 29 pays peuvent faire énormément pour la sécurité internationale, à condition
d’agir ensemble. Nous allons, ici, pour la première fois, nous mettre d’accord sur une perception
commune des menaces auxquelles nous devons tous faire face. Nous allons nous engager dans
une coopération approfondie pour nous prémunir contre ces menaces, qui vont de la piraterie à
la prolifération en passant par le terrorisme. Nous allons notamment parvenir à un degré de
coopération sans précédent dans la lutte contre le terrorisme, l'extrémisme et le trafic de
stupéfiants en provenance d’Afghanistan, qui constituent des menaces pour nous tous.

All our countries face another growing threat as well – the proliferation of ballistic missiles. It is
a threat we can best defend against together. Starting today, we will begin working to see how
we pursue NATO-Russia missile defence cooperation. There are many issues still to address,
but the most important point is this: for the first time, NATO nations and Russia will discuss
cooperating to protect, together, European territory and populations.

Here in Lisbon, we are laying the foundations for stronger ties between our 29 nations than has
ever been the case until now. Which is why today marks a fresh start in NATO-Russia relations.

As evidence of our determination to cooperate together, I am pleased to be able to already
announce today the completion of arrangements that will allow for the expanded transit of
equipment to the ISAF mission via the Russian Federation. I thank President Medvedev for his
support.