Opening remarks by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

at the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Defence Ministers session

  • 23 Oct. 2013 -
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  • Last updated: 23 Oct. 2013 09:36

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This NATO-Russia Council Defence Ministers is an opportunity to review our concrete cooperation on security issues that concern us all.

One of these issues is terrorism. I would like to express my condolences to the victims of the Volgograd terrorist attack two days ago and to their families and loved ones.

NATO Allies and Russia work together to counter terrorism in the air and on the ground. A recent exercise, Vigilant Skies 2013, has improved our ability to respond to the hijacking of civilian planes. And we are successfully cooperating to develop a better means of preventing attacks against our public transport systems. 

We have also made important first steps towards greater transparency in our military activities. Last month, NATO officials observed the Russian and Belarusian exercise Zapad 2013. And next month, we expect to welcome Russian observers at Exercise Steadfast Jazz in Latvia and Poland. 

Farther afield, joint NATO-Russian naval exercises have strengthened our efforts to deter piracy. And we have supported the security and stability of Afghanistan by expanding our counter-narcotics programme. And by launching the second phase of our helicopter maintenance trust fund to support Afghan forces. 

We continue to discuss the important topic of Missile Defence. There is no agreement yet on how we should work together. But we all agree that further consultations are the way forward. 

Concernant la Syrie, nous nous sommes réjouis de l’accord-cadre sur l’élimination des armes chimiques syriennes, intervenu entre les États-Unis et la Russie. Aujourd’hui, nous examinerons les étapes qui ont suivi. À cet égard, nous saluons l’adoption par le Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU de la résolution 2118. 

Nous avons donc un programme chargé, qui illustre l’importance de la relation entre l’OTAN et la Russie. Et les résultats tangibles de notre coopération pratique. 

Je voudrais maintenant conclure la partie publique de notre réunion et remercier les représentants des médias pour leur présence. Merci.