|Last update: 09-Dec-2004 14:43||NATO Update|
Russia to support
An agreement on Russian support to NATO’s Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean, aimed at helping deter, disrupt and protect against terrorism, was signed in Brussels, 9 December.
The modalities of Russia’s support to Active Endeavour were finalised in an exchange of letters at the beginning of a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at the level of Foreign Ministers at NATO Headquarters.
The Council noted with satisfaction
that NATO and Russian military forces already have begun
preparing to serve side by side in this operation.
Under Operation Active Endeavour, NATO ships have been patrolling the Mediterranean monitoring shipping to detect and deter terrorist activity since October 2001 as part of the Alliance's response to the terrorist attacks of 11 September of that year.
This is not the first time that Russia has supported NATO-led operations. The Russian Federation has contributed troops to NATO-led peacekeeping forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.
Operation Active Endeavour however is carried out under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, and therefore a formal NATO collective defence operation. It is the first time that Russia contributes to such an operation.
NATO and Russia have recently taken a number of measures to enhance their ability to field joint peacekeeping and crisis management operations. This includes courses on interoperability organized by NATO at Russian military academies, as well as a NATO-Russia Council exercise in September that tested the procedures for launching joint operations.
Co-operation in the fight against terrorism was the main focus of the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, which also agreed on a comprehensive action plan against terrorism.