NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council Meeting at Ministerial Level
The first meeting of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council at the level of Foreign Ministers took place on Friday 26 September 1997 in New York. This first Ministerial level meeting follows the historic signing of the NATO-Russia Founding Act in Paris on 27 May.
Ministers underscored the importance of the fundamental change in recent NATO-Russia relations and underlined its significance in the wider context of developing new cooperative security systems in Europe. They attached utmost importance to the implementation of the Founding Act and stressed that the conclusion of the Founding Act marks not the end but the beginning of a process leading to a closer security partnership between NATO and Russia.
Ministers approved a detailed work programme for the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council until the end of 1997, outlining a number of issues for consultations as well as practical cooperation activities, such as civil emergency planning, projects in the scientific and environmental fields as well as the retraining of retired military personnel.
They noted that the first monthly meeting of military representatives of NATO and Russia as foreseen by the NATO-Russia Founding Act will take place in Brussels in the near future.
They stressed the importance of an increased defence-related and military cooperation and agreed to undertake urgent steps to update Russia's Individual Partnership Programme under PfP.
NATO and Russia exchanged views on peacekeeping operations. Ministers favoured the development of cooperation between Russia and NATO in this area.
Ministers discussed issues of mutual concern with regard to the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. All participants stressed the importance of NATO-Russia cooperation in SFOR and highly valued the experience gained so far. They expressed satisfaction about the way the municipal elections in Bosnia were carried out and reiterated that NATO and Russia, together with other Partners, are determined to continue their close cooperation under the Peace Agreement to help bring peace and security to Bosnia.
All participants welcomed the outcome of the meeting and expressed their determination to continue to work in a positive spirit in implementing the provisions of the Founding Act.
They agreed to meet again at Ministerial level in Brussels on 17 December, which will offer the opportunity to continue the work begun in New York by broadening the intensive cooperation along the lines laid down in the Founding Act and reviewing the implementation of the work programme approved by Ministers today.