by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the NATO-Russia Council meeting at the level of Foreign Ministers, Berlin, Germany on 15 April 2011
Welcome to this meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at the level of Foreign Ministers. I would like to thank Minister Westerwelle and the German authorities for hosting this important event.
Our meeting in Berlin today is an important stepping stone on the way to the true strategic partnership we pledged to develop together at Lisbon.
Day by day we are building this modernised relationship for the 21st century. Because we know that by acting together, we can do more for international security.
We share significant security interests. We face the same threats. And we agree that we can better defend together against such threats.
Our substantive agenda today is testimony to our growing cooperation to face common challenges: from the stability of Afghanistan to piracy, proliferation and terrorism.
We have a shared goal of defending our populations from the threat of ballistic missiles. We have to agree on how the future framework for missile defence cooperation between NATO and Russia should look.
We are also playing an active role in helping to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan. Today we will put into effect the project launched in Lisbon for a Helicopter Trust Fund. It will provide training, spare parts and tool kits for three squadrons of Afghan helicopters. This is tangible proof that working together brings real security benefits.
And today, we will exchange views on the situation in Libya and the broader region, as well as on the response of the international community to the ongoing crisis in our immediate neighbourhood. This too shows the political value and relevance of the NATO-Russia Council as a forum for political dialogue on security issues.
We have a lot to do together. May I now ask the media representatives to leave the room please?