The NATO-Russia Council (NRC) was established as a mechanism for consultation, consensus-building, cooperation, joint decision making and joint action. Within the NRC, the individual NATO member states and Russia have worked as equal partners on a wide spectrum of security issues of common interest.
The NRC was established at the NATO-Russia Summit in Rome on 28 May 2002 by the Declaration on “NATO-Russia Relations: a New Quality”. The 2002 Rome Declaration built on the goals and principles of the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security. The NRC replaced the Permanent Joint Council (PJC), a forum for consultation and cooperation created by the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act. The individual Allies and Russia have met as equal partners in the NRC – instead of meeting in the bilateral “NATO+1” format under the PJC.
In April 2014, following Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea, the Alliance suspended all practical cooperation between NATO and Russia. However, the Alliance agreed to keep channels of communication open in the NRC and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council at the Ambassadorial level and above, to allow the exchange of views, first and foremost on the crisis in Ukraine.
Since Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea, the NRC has met 11 times, with Ukraine as the first item on the agenda. Three meetings took place in 2016, three in 2017, two in 2018, and two in 2019. The most recent meeting of the NRC took place in January 2022.
In February 2022, Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine gravely altered NATO’s security environment. In the Strategic Concept agreed at the Madrid Summit in June 2022, Allies agreed that while NATO cannot consider Russia to be a partner, the Alliance remains willing to keep open channels of communication with Moscow to manage and mitigate risks, prevent escalation and increase transparency.