NATO-Russia set on path towards strategic partnership
The third summit in the history of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) took place in Lisbon on 20 November 2010. At the end of this historic gathering, President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia and his counterparts from the other 28 NRC member states issued a joint statement.
In this statement, NRC leaders pledged to “work towards achieving a true strategic and modernised partnership based on the principles of reciprocal confidence, transparency, and predictability, with the aim of contributing to the creation of a common space of peace, security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.”
The NRC Heads of State and Government took a number of important decisions.
First, they endorsed the first ever Joint Review of 21st Century Common Security Challenges, outlining shared views of Russia and Allies on key security questions and ways to address them through practical cooperation.
Second, they agreed on a joint ballistic missile threat assessment and decided to resume Theatre Missile Defence Cooperation. Moreover, they tasked a development of a comprehensive Joint Analysis of the future framework for broader missile defence cooperation. This work will be assessed at the June 2011 meeting of NRC Defence Ministers.
Third, participants reconfirmed a shared determination to assist in the stabilisation of Afghanistan and the whole region. In this context, they welcomed broadened transit arrangements through Russian territory for non-lethal ISAF goods, moved to expand the counter-narcotics training and decided to task a development of an NRC Helicopter Maintenance Trust Fund in 2011.
Other issues discussed included NRC cooperation on counter-terrorism, and the fight against piracy.
Summing up the NRC summit, Mr Rasmussen said:
“We have agreed, together, on which security challenges NATO nations and Russia actually face today. What’s most significant is what’s not on the list: each other. The NATO nations and Russia have, today, agreed, in writing, that while we face many security challenges, we pose no threat to each other. That, alone, draws a clear line between the past and the future of NATO-Russia relations.”