Updated: 31-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus

Statement at
the Acceptance
of the Russian
and the Broad,
Enhanced NATO-
Russia Dialogue
and Cooperation
beyond Pfp

NATO Council,
May 31, 1995

by Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev
of the Russian Federation

Distinguished Mr. Chairman,

Today, we give effect to the individual programme of partnership between Russia and NATO and the document titled Area of Broad and Profound Dialogue and Cooperation Between Russia and NATO. Thus we reaffirm our mutual interest in the development of comprehensive cooperation between the Russian Federation and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Moulding new relations between Russia and the reformed alliance will become an important element of the new security and stability system in Europe.

On its May 24, 1995 meeting the Security Council of the Russian Federation chaired by President Boris Yeltsin considered Russia's policies in the area of Pan-European security. It stressed that Russia was vitally interested in maintaining peace on the European continent. It has consistently favoured building Europe without dividing lines and creating a common space of stability and progress.

This is the guiding line of Russia's concept of Pan-European partnership within which the idea of elaborating a security model for Europe of XXI century was advanced and approved at the Budapest CSCE summit meeting.

Our priority is developing a system of general and comprehensive security for Europe for a long perspective. Such a system must ensure the construction of an undivided Europe as well as the broadest possible cooperation and coordination of efforts of all countries belonging to the Euro-Atlantic Region.

The evolution of European structures and above all NATO is an essential element of the future Pan-European security system and European equilibrium. However, one cannot reduce all only to the prospect of NATO expansion. So far the alliance has been changing slowly. If the alliance wishes in practices to become a part of a Pan-European security system it must get transformed from a military alliance to a political organisation with corresponding changes in NATO institutions and basic documents.

Preserving current NATO as a purely military bloc would run counter to the trends of moulding a single Europe. In this case we would need to clarify whom NATO is going to defend itself against.

If one has in mind Russia it is obvious that this would mean creating new dividing lines in Europe. If, however, one has in mind a third party threat, Russia and NATO could tackle the issue jointly together with other European institutions by determining ways to counter new challenges. We need clear answers to these questions.

A common understanding is yet to be worked out regarding the essence of future special relations between Russia and reformed NATO. Russia is prepared to conduct concrete negotiations with NATO as to substance and forms. In our view, at issue is a truly effective working mechanism of constructive and equal interaction between Russia and NATO whose principles and parameters could be recorded in corresponding agreements.

I stress once again that we are interested in a dialogue on transforming NATO and establishing special relations between Russia and NATO and members of the alliance. Forming new ties between Russia and the reformed alliance will constitute an important element of European politics.

Russia's position regarding NATO expansion has remained unchanged. We continue to believe that it does not meet either the interest of Russia's national security or the interest of European security as a whole. Furthermore, the hasty resolution of the issue may threaten the establishment of truly mutually advantageous and constructive relations between Russia and NATO and the usefulness of Russia's involvement in the PfP. It will not create greater stability and security either.

Instead of considering ways of NATO expansion, we need to focus on methods of building jointly a single Europe. If we resolve this key issue it would be easier to define the future role of NATO and other organisations and alliances. In other words, we suggest to halt and think rather than act hastily and blindly.

We are certain that partnership between Russia and NATO is a highly promising enterprise with real dividends for our common cause, i.e. ensuring reliable security and stability in Europe.

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