Updated: 10-May-2002 NATO Background Information

7 June 2001

[Eng. / Rus.]

Background Note

Signature of a Memorandum of Agreement on the Opening in Moscow of an "Information, Consultation and Training Centre" by the Ministry of Defence in Moscow on the Resettlement of
Military Personnel Due for Discharge or Discharged
from the Russian Federation Armed Forces

NATO, PJC Ministerial, 8 June 2001

  1. Russia has announced forthcoming dramatic cuts in its armed forces. Since the collapse of the former Soviet Union, hundreds of thousands of military personnel have been laid off, very often without adequate social care due to a lack of resources at the level of the state budget.
  2. Since 1997, Russia and NATO have been working on this issue, and the signature of this Memorandum of Agreement is the result of more than two years of negotiations at PJC level.
  3. NATO expertise in this field, co-ordinated by its Economic Directorate, has since led to the signing of two agreements with Ukraine, in the framework of the NATO Ukraine Charter, and to the support by NATO authorities of two governmental resettlement programmes in the Balkans (Romania and Bulgaria), as a part of the SEEI.

The Centre in Moscow

  1. This Centre will be a modest, but modern one, and will be integrated into the already correspondent structures in order to improve them.
  2. Using mainly the very flexible technology of the Internet, it will be partly "virtual". Its physical residence will be in Moscow in offices located in a former "German-Russian" Centre and its virtual residence on a NATO funded website. This web site, which will have links to the existing regional retraining centres and - provided there is local availability of the Internet technology - to information and consultation points in military districts, garrisons and camps, and with the Russian Labour Ministry employment services.
  3. The site, which will be very similar in its design to sites developed in various other ministries of defence, would be composed of pages dedicated to such issues as legal protection, job placement, medium-sized and small business development, housing information, social and psychological adaptation, etc. Every component will be interactive, on a free-of-charge basis, with other training centres and associated organisations, and be able to answer via e-mail, fax or post, any incoming requests for information. The web site will also play a role of interface with other international organisations, NATO ministries of defence and NGOs dealing with the issue of retraining and social adaptation of released military personnel.

Train the Trainers

  1. The Centre will also train specialists to assist former military personnel for adaptation to civilian life, by organising short training courses for up to 100 students, who will later work in retraining and resettlement centres throughout the Russian Federation.
  2. Resettlement experts represent the key component of the adaptation system. This activity of the Centre, agreed and implemented by the Russian-side jointly with competent ministries and departments, will be aimed at training future specialists in the development of resettlement plans to be put into effect in the regions and localities where there is a concentration of military personnel who are due for discharge or have been discharged.
  3. The specialists’ job will also be aimed at assisting military personnel who are due for discharge or have been discharged with advice and consultations on setting up small businesses, potential support from the State, enterprises and credit institutions. Training will be orientated towards the problems that the specialists will face once back in their region: setting up a special service within the municipal administration (if there is not one already), lack of jobs, legal problems, problems of reserve officers’ attitudes in their new conditions - lack of confidence, poor finances, etc, setting up contacts with businessmen, bureaucracy, etc.
  4. By the end of its first year of activity, the Centre should have trained and placed up to 100 resettlement specialists.


  1. NATO will provide expertise on the Centre's project and fund the creation of the website, access to it, and its maintenance for one year. The NATO member States propose to organise co-operation and exchanges on a regular and bilateral basis by holding small-scale seminars on organising the professional retraining and resettlement of military personnel who are due for discharge or have been discharged. NATO will finance for one year the salaries of the Centre's staff drawn from successfully retrained reserve officers or reserve officers with experience of work in resettlement.
  2. The Russian side will provide a building or the required space on a rent-free basis, preferably in one of the training centres set up within the Russo-German programme, and fund the operational costs (electricity, telephones, central heating, etc.). Furthermore, Russia will feed and update the website with information in co-ordination with NATO experts during the NATO-funded period (one-year) and prepare proposals on the composition, structure and functions of the web-site for the following year.
  3. To conclude, this project is a new and concrete product of the co-operation launched under the auspices of the Founding Act and a clear signal of the improving relationship between Russia and NATO.

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