Anniversary meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, Moscow
Meeting on the 26th of June in Moscow, the Ambassadors of the NATO-Russia Council, reiterated their determination to use the NRC as a forum for frank political dialogue and deepening, mutually beneficial practical cooperation between NATO and Russia. Since the signature of the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act and the 2002 Rome Declaration: "NATO-Russia Relations - A New Quality", the NATO-Russia Council has proven repeatedly its strategic importance in promoting security and stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic area. Notwithstanding remaining differences of approach on a number of international problems, the NRC has broadened and deepened its political dialogue and its practical cooperation. Its member states have worked together as equal partners in conformity with the principles and commitments agreed in Rome.
Reaffirming the importance of addressing current security issues in a frank and constructive manner, Ambassadors intend to improve the quality and effectiveness of political dialogue in the NRC framework, with a view to developing common approaches and executing joint actions to counter common threats and challenges. In this context, they agreed to continue open, candid discussion of issues of mutual interest, including missile defence and the CFE Treaty, using the NRC framework to further strengthen mutual trust among NRC member states. They also welcomed progress made in practical cooperation, including the implementation of the NRC Action Plan on Terrorism, the development of the NRC Cooperative Airspace Initiative and joint work on theatre missile defence. They welcomed the launch of the NRC website as an important means of heightening public awareness of the Council’s achievements and the substance of its ongoing political dialogue.
Ambassadors noted with satisfaction the substantial progress made in advancing NRC military-to-military cooperation, including joint exercises and training, improvement of interoperability between Allied and Russian forces, the conduct of search-and-rescue training at sea, and the participation of Russian forces and assets in anti-terrorist naval patrols in the framework of Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR. Drawing upon Russia’s recent ratification of the Partnership for Peace Status of Forces Agreement (PfP SOFA), they agreed to explore ways to promote NRC cooperation such as military exchanges, exercises and transit. They further welcomed the successful completion of the Theatre Missile Defence (TMD) Interoperability Study Phase 2b and tasked the NRC Ad Hoc Working Group on TMD to ensure effective implementation of the relevant sections of the NRC Work Programme for 2007.
Underscoring the shared interest of NRC member states in promoting stability and security in and around Afghanistan, Ambassadors took several decisions today aimed at enhancing our practical cooperation in this area. They remain concerned over the threats posed by trafficking in narcotics, including its links to the financing of terrorism. Building upon the successful implementation to date of the NRC Pilot Project for Counter-Narcotics Training of Afghan and Central Asian Personnel, they agreed to extend this project to 2009. They also tasked experts to carry forward work in other areas that would enhance our ability to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan, including the development of a NATO-Russia Framework Agreement on Air Transport.