28 May 1998
NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council Meeting
The third meeting of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (PJC) at the level of Foreign Ministers took place on Thursday, 28 May 1998 in Luxembourg.
At Ministerial Level Luxembourg, 28 May 1998
Ministers highlighted the first anniversary of the signing of the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation, in Paris on 27 May 1997. They reviewed progress since their last meeting and examined future priorities of the PJC Work Programme for 1998. They underscored the qualitatively new relationship initiated by the Founding Act and welcomed the progress made in practical cooperation so far. Ministers emphasized that NATO and Russia will continue working together to contribute to common and comprehensive security in the Euro-Atlantic area based on allegiance to shared values, commitments and norms of behaviour in the interests of all states. They reiterated their commitment to a strong, stable, enduring and equal partnership between NATO and Russia on the basis of common interest, reciprocity and transparency. They confirmed the attachment of their countries to the principles embodied in the Founding Act.
Ministers reviewed the situation in and around Bosnia and Herzegovina. They called on all Parties to the Peace Agreement to increase their efforts to implement the Agreement in full, and thus to create the conditions for a peaceful, stable and prosperous future. They emphasized the value of NATO-Russia military cooperation in SFOR on the ground as well as the regular consultations held in the PJC framework in this respect. They agreed to continue NATO-Russia cooperation in SFOR following the end of its current mandate in June.
Ministers expressed their concern about the situation in Kosovo. They condemned the increase in violence in the area, and called for an open and unconditional dialogue between authorities in Belgrade and the Kosovar Albanian leadership. Ministers expressed their support for the efforts of the international community to facilitate this process, including those of the Contact Group and the OSCE. They stressed the importance of NATO-Russia consultations on ways to stabilize the situation in the area, and highly valued the special meeting of the Permanent Joint Council held on 27 May 1998 to that effect.
Ministers noted the establishment by NATO and Russia of the institutional framework envisioned in the Founding Act, as a strong foundation for further cooperation, and highlighted the practical achievements reached so far. Ministers stressed the importance of the PJC as a mechanism to enhance dialogue and cooperation in the field of security between NATO and Russia, as well as a mechanism of interaction which contributes to building a safe, peaceful and undivided Europe. They welcomed the establishment of Russia's Mission to NATO and the appointment of the Senior Russian Military Representative in its framework. They agreed that frank and business-like discussions at the meetings of Foreign and Defence Ministers and Chiefs of Staff as well as at the monthly meetings at the level of Ambassadors and military representatives have given new momentum to NATO-Russia cooperation and consultations.
In reviewing the implementation of the 1998 PJC Work Programme, Ministers noted, among others, the consultations held on peacekeeping, on non-proliferation issues, on terrorism, on nuclear affairs and infrastructure development programmes. Ministers of NATO and Russia underlined the necessity to pursue and deepen these discussions on issues of fundamental importance for the security of the Euro-Atlantic region. Ministers welcomed the opening of the NATO Documentation Centre for European Security Issues in Moscow, in February 1998. Ministers also supported further cooperation regarding the retraining of retired military servicemen. They noted that projected follow-up activities for 1998 include seminars and workshops on peacekeeping, retraining of retired military officers, and terrorism.
Ministers highlighted the increased military cooperation between NATO and Russia, including the participation by Russian units in the exercise "Cooperative Jaguar" which took place in Denmark this month. They welcomed the beginning of negotiations on the establishment of reciprocal Military Liaison Missions, as provided for by the NATO-Russia Founding Act.
Ministers agreed that, while much has been accomplished since the signing of the Founding Act, more needs to be done to build on the successes to date and maintain the momentum to achieve its larger goals. They stressed the need to move ahead with Russia's Individual Partnership Programme under Partnership for Peace,as agreed in the PJC Work Programme for 1998. Ministers agreed on a continuation of the discussion in the PJC on arms control and disarmament issues, including CFE and Open Skies.
In the framework of the PJC Ministerial meeting, NATO Secretary General Solana and the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology of the Russian Federation, Nichkov, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific Cooperation between NATO and Russia. The MOU will strengthen cooperation in an area of significant benefit for both sides.
NATO and Russia agreed to meet again at the level of Foreign Ministers in December 1998.