Robertson in Russia
During a trip to Russia from 21 to 23 November, NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson met in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov and National Security Council President Vladimir Rushailo. Discussions focused on a package of proposals for more substantive cooperation, particularly to combat terrorism.
On 20 and 21 November, the annual meeting of NATO's Chiefs of Defence Staff (CHODs) took place at NATO. Following this meeting, the CHODs met separately with their counterparts from Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council countries, Russia and Ukraine.
General Harald Kujat of the German Air Force was designated to take over from Admiral Guido Venturoni as Chairman of the Military Committee in June 2002 for a three-year term.
Lord Robertson welcomed the peaceful conduct of elections for a provisional assembly in Kosovo on 17 November as "a remarkable step forward towards normality" which would give all communities "the chance to build a truly democratic, multi-ethnic and prosperous society".
Lord Robertson commended the parliament of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* for passing 15 constitutional amendments on 16 November to provide for more equitable treatment of minorities.
As part of his tour of aspiring NATO members, Lord Robertson visited Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 12 November, where he discussed the country's progress in meeting membership criteria with President Milan Kucan, Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek and Defence Minister Anton Grizold, as well as members of parliament.
Following the resumption of civil unrest in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,* Lord Robertson met government leaders in the capital Skopje, on 7 November, to push for progress on implementing promised internal reforms. He travelled to Pristina, Kosovo, the next day for meetings with UN Special Representative Hans Haekkerup and the KFOR Commander, General Marcel Valentin, to discuss preparations for the elections for a new assembly planned for 17 November.
Meeting at NATO on 5 and 6 November, the Conference of National Armaments Directors discussed the reinforcement of NATO's defence capabilities, further opportunities for defence cooperation with Partner countries, and the development of NATO's theatre missile defence programme and Alliance Ground Surveillance. For the first time, Partner countries were invited to attend certain sessions.
Tour of capitals
Lord Robertson, started his tour of the nine Partner countries aspiring to NATO membership with a visit to Bratislava, Slovakia, on 5 November. He met President Rudolf Schuster, Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda, Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan, Defence Minister Jozef Stank and Slovak parliamentarians.
Some 2,500 personnel from 14 NATO and 13 Partner countries took part in Allied Effort 2001 in Wroclaw, Poland, from 5 to 20 November. The aim of the exercise, which was organised by Allied Forces North, was to train the headquarters and component commands of a Combined Joint Task Force in the planning and conduct of a peace-support operation.
Two illegal arms caches were discovered by SFOR troops on 29 and 30 October in Han Pijesak, a Serb-controlled village in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which served as a Bosnian Serb military headquarters during the Bosnian war.
At a meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 29 October, NATO's Science Committee gave the go-ahead for the Virtual Silk Highway project to provide internet access via a satellite network for the scientific and academic communities of eight countries of Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus.
Nine NATO and 11 Partner countries took part in Cooperative Determination 2001 in Baku, Azerbaijan, between 5 and 16 November. This command post/computer assisted exercise, organised by Allied Forces Southern Europe, was aimed at improving military interoperability for crisis response operations.
Parliamentarians from NATO and Partner countries gathered in Bucharest, Romania, for a seminar on The role of NATO in the security of the Black Sea region, organised by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in cooperation with the Romanian Chamber of Deputies from 25 to 27 October.
An international conference, entitled Ten Years of Partnership and Cooperation, took place at NATO on 26 October to mark the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council.
Missile defence update
NATO ambassadors were updated on US plans for a missile-defence shield on 25 October by senior US diplomats, who reported on the previous weekend's discussions between the Russian and US presidents in Shanghai, China, concerning the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty.
On 24 October, US Admiral Gregory G. Johnson took over from US Admiral James Ellis as Commander of Allied Forces Southern Europe, the regional command based in Naples, Italy, responsible for NATO-led peacesupport operations in the Balkans.
Lord Robertson visited Lisbon, Portugal, on 24 and 25 October, where he met Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio, Prime Minister Antonio Guterres, Foreign Minister Jaime Gama and Defence Minister Rui Pena, and addressed a conference on the future of transatlantic relations.
The eighth meeting of the North Atlantic Council and the European Union's Political and Security Committee, which took place at NATO on 23 October 2001, focused on contributions to the international coalition against terrorism, the peace process in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* and progress made in establishing arrangements for EUNATO cooperation.
The prime minister and former king of Bulgaria, Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha, met Lord Robertson at NATO on 22 October.
Cooperative Support 2001 took place between 17 and 23 October in Borovets, Bulgaria, to train NATO and Partner forces in logistical aspects of peace-support operations, including maritime, land, air, amphibious and medical components.
The Standing Naval Force Atlantic left Zeebrugge naval base in Belgium on 22 October to join the Standing Naval Force Mediterranean in the Eastern Mediterranean in support of Article 5 operations against terrorism.
On 18 October 2001, Lord RobertsonJoseph Ralstonthe former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
NATO assets deployed
For the first time in NATO's history, Alliance assets were deployed in support of Article 5 operations on 9 October. Five airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) aircraft were sent to the United States to free up US planes for operations over Afghanistan. The Standing Naval Force Mediterranean was reassigned to assure a NATO presence in the Eastern Mediterranean cutting short an annual maritime, air and amphibious exercise, Destined Glory 2001, which had been scheduled to run from 5 to 23 October.
Lord Robertson met Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrtien, US President George Bush and other key figures during a trip to North America from 8 to 10 October. Discussions focused on counter-terrorism activities and contributions to Operation Enduring Freedom.
Article 5 measures
The NATO Allies agreed on 4 October, at the request of the United States, to take eight measures, individually and collectively, to expand the options available in the campaign against terrorism. These included deployment of ships from the Alliance's standing naval forces to the Eastern Mediterranean and AWACS aircraft to the United States.
Lord Robertson met the heads of state of the Vilnius Group countries - Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* - at a meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 4 and 5 October, where discussions focused on new threats to global security following the terrorist attacks against the United States.
Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated his country's desire to contribute to the global campaign against terrorism, when he met Lord Robertson in Brussels, Belgium, on 3 October. They also discussed the situation in Chechnya, missile defence, prospects for NATO-Russia relations and how present cooperation could be extended into new areas.
General Marcel Valentin of France succeeded Norwegian General Thorstein Skiaker as Commander of KFOR on 3 October. He will hold this post for one year, the previous sixmonth rotational system having been extended as part of KFOR's reorganisation.
The New NATO - Trends, Challenges, Hopes and Opportunities were discussed at the Atlantic Treaty Association's annual assembly, hosted by the Atlantic Council of Slovenia, in Bled, Slovenia, between 3 and 6 October.
Article 5 confirmed
On 2 October, Lord Robertson confirmed the invocation of Article 5 after US envoys informed NATO ambassadors on the results of investigations into the 11 September terrorist attacks. The US envoys confirmed that the attacks had been directed from abroad by the al-Qaida terrorist network, headed by Osama bin Laden.
Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski met Lord Robertson at NATO on 2 October. He expressed his country's readiness to contribute to the fight against terrorism and to increase its peacekeeping presence in the Balkans. Discussions also focused on defence reform and the six-year plan, launched in 1999, to modernise the Polish armed forces.
On 1 October, Lord Robertson met Defence Minister Rudolf Scharping, Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and the chairman of the opposition CDU party, Angela Merkel, in Berlin, Germany. They discussed German support for the campaign against terrorism, as well as the country's lead role within Task Force Amber Fox in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,* which is providing security for EU and OSCE monitors.
Some 2,000 troops from 14 NATO countries took part in Exchange Adventure 2001, in north-west Turkey from 1 to 25 October, an exercise to train high-readiness forces in Article 5 operations.
Lord Robertson attended a ceremony on 28 September at the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy, to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
Prospects for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia joining the Partnership for Peace and the Euro-Atlantic security community were discussed at the first, NATO-sponsored seminar to be held in the capital, Belgrade, on 28 and 29 September.
Defence ministers meet
NATO defence ministers met informally at NATO, on 26 September, in the wake of the 11 September terrorist attacks, and reiterated their solidarity with the United States and their commitment to the principle of Article 5. US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz briefed ministers on the wide-ranging, long-term approach being developed to combat terrorism. The impact of the terrorist attacks on NATO's future structure and tasks, and the need for more flexible forces and intelligence sharing were discussed, as were NATO's commitments in the Balkans.
On 25 September, the day before completion of Essential Harvest, the 30-day mission to disarm ethnic Albanian rebels in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,* Lord Robertson visited Skopje, where he met government leaders to discuss arrangements for a follow-on mission to provide additional security for international monitors.
* Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.