Permanent Joint Council
Meeting at Ministerial level held in Florence on 24 May 2000
The NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (PJC) met at the level of Foreign
Ministers on Wednesday, 24 May 2000 in Florence.
Ministers emphasised the importance for the security and stability in
the Euro-Atlantic area of a strong, stable and enduring partnership between
NATO and Russia on the basis of common interest, reciprocity and transparency,
as laid down in the NATO-Russia Founding Act. In this context, they recalled
the visit of the Secretary General of NATO to Moscow on 16 February when
it was agreed that NATO and Russia would work to intensify their dialogue
in the PJC seeking improved cooperation on a broad range of issues.
Ministers noted important consultations on issues related to the situation
in the former Yugoslavia, building on the cooperation between NATO and
Russian forces in SFOR and KFOR.
Ministers noted with particular interest the important exchange of views
and information on strategy, military doctrine and infrastructure development
programmes, undertaken at the recent PJC Ambassadorial meetings, as a
means towards building confidence, enhancing transparency and dispelling
misperceptions. They agreed to in-depth follow-up discussions on these
issues. Ministers also took note of the recent PJC consultations on non-proliferation
issues, disarmament and arms control issues as well as on scientific cooperation.
Ministers reviewed the situation in the former Yugoslavia and exchanged
views on NATO-Russia cooperation in the international security presence
in Kosovo (KFOR). They reviewed, in particular, the state of implementation
of the security aspects of UNSCR 1244 and stressed their determination
to meet in full the aims set out therein. They are resolved to work together
towards ensuring multi-ethnicity of Kosovo, cessation of violence against
ethnic minorities, return of refugees and internally displaced persons
irrespective of their ethnic origin, strengthening of local democratic
structures, establishment of a functioning judicial system, fight against
organised crime, arms and drugs trafficking and illegal possession of
weapons. NATO and Russia agreed to cooperate closely in all these areas
and in the protection of all the ethnic groups in Kosovo. They underlined
that provocations and other attempts to undermine the peace process will
not be tolerated.
Ministers approved a PJC Work Programme for the remainder of 2000, agreeing
to continue ongoing work and outlining a number of additional issues for
consultation as well as practical cooperation activities.
Ministers confirmed agreement on the establishment of a NATO Information
Office in Moscow as provided for in the Founding Act. They agreed to finalise
the negotiations as early as possible, bearing in mind the need to improve
public understanding of evolving relations between NATO and Russia.
Ministers agreed to maintain the positive momentum as demonstrated during
this meeting in Florence and to meet again in December in Brussels to
review NATO-Russia consultation and cooperation under the Founding Act
and to continue discussions on issues of mutual interest.