20 Jan. 1999

Press Statement

NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council Meeting
At Ambassadorial Level

The NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (PJC) at Ambassadorial level met on Wednesday, 20 January 1999 at NATO Headquarters.

Ambassadors reviewed the rapidly deteriorating situation in Kosovo. They condemned the recent cycle of violence, including the massacre in the Racak area.

They called for a full investigation by the FRY authorities with the participation of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice. Involvement of other international experts should be welcome.

NATO and Russia reaffirmed their full support for the OSCE Verification Mission in Kosovo, and its Head of Mission, Ambassador Walker, underscoring that the OSCE presence in Kosovo was essential in helping achieve a political solution to the crisis. The NATO side also informed Russia about the January 19 talks of senior NATO military officials in Belgrade. NATO and Russia underscored that all parties to the conflict should immediately cease all acts of violence and open the path for a negotiated settlement.

Ambassadors received a briefing on the meeting of military representatives under the auspices of the PJC held on 14 January 1999.

Following up on the adoption of the 1999 PJC Work Programme by the Foreign Ministers of NATO and Russia on 9 December 1998, both sides agreed on steps to ensure its implementation, including a tentative list of issues to be addressed by PJC Ambassadorial meetings during the first half of 1999.

NATO and Russia continued the exchange of information and consultations on infrastructure-related issues initiated in the PJC on 20 May and 21 October 1998, with a briefing provided by the Russian Federation.

The next meeting of the PJC is scheduled for 17 February 1999.

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