Updated: 06-May-2002 NATO Press Releases

15 Dec. 2000

Press Statement

NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council
Meeting at Ministerial Level
held in Brussels
on 15 December 2000

The NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (PJC) met at the level of Foreign Ministers on Friday, 15 December 2000 in Brussels.

Ministers welcomed the progress achieved in NATO-Russia dialogue and cooperation since their meeting in Florence in May and reaffirmed their commitment to build, within the framework of the PJC, a strong, stable and equal partnership in the interest of security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area, as enshrined in the NATO-Russia Founding Act.

Ministers reviewed the situation in the former Yugoslavia. They welcomed the peaceful democratic changes that have taken place in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and discussed their positive impact on the region. They noted with satisfaction the high degree of common ground achieved through the good cooperation between the contingents of NATO and Russia in theatre. They also noted the useful exchanges held at PJC meetings at Ambassadorial level. In this context, they reconfirmed their determination to implement the Dayton Peace Accords and UNSCR 1244 in all its aspects, including the provisions regarding the reaffirmation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the FRY and substantial autonomy and meaningful self-administration for Kosovo. Ministers condemned continuing acts of violence and extremism directed against minority communities. They underlined that provocations and other attempts to undermine the peace process will not be tolerated. They agreed that the recent encouraging changes in the region offer new prospects of lasting stability and further progress towards regional integration.

Ministers noted a Progress Report on the implementation of the PJC Work Programme for the remainder of 2000 and expressed their satisfaction with the broad range of issues addressed in the PJC since the Florence meeting. These subjects of direct interest to both NATO and Russia included, inter alia, strategy and doctrine, arms control, proliferation, military infrastructure, nuclear weapons issues, the retraining of discharged military personnel and search and rescue at sea.

To reinforce the positive momentum achieved over the past months, Ministers approved a constructive PJC Work Programme for 2001 that includes additional areas. It will constitute the overall guidance for NATO-Russia consultation and cooperation during the next year.

In particular, Ministers welcomed the approval of a Work Programme and the notation of a status report on cooperation on search and rescue at sea by the PJC at the level of Defence Ministers on 5 December 2000. Ministers highlighted cooperation in this field as a promising area of cooperation.

Ministers exchanged letters on the establishment of a NATO Information Office in Moscow. Ministers underlined the important role the NATO Information Office will play in improving public understanding of the evolving relations between NATO and Russia. Ministers underscored that it should contribute to further strengthen the cooperation and partnership between NATO and Russia.

Ministers took note of the decision by PJC Defence Ministers on 5 December 2000 to consult on the opening of a NATO Military Liaison Mission in Moscow.

Ministers further noted the report presented to the PJC by the NATO-Russia Joint Scientific and Technological Co-operation Committee. They emphasised their expectation that cooperation under the MoU on Scientific and Technological Co-operation between NATO and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Russian Federation will continue to develop in an encouraging manner.

Ministers discussed common approaches developed in the PJC Working Group on Peacekeeping.

Ministers looked forward to an early signing of the NATO-Russia Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Protection.

Ministers agreed to maintain the positive momentum as demonstrated during this meeting in Brussels. They will review NATO-Russia consultation and cooperation under the Founding Act at the next PJC meeting at the level of Foreign Ministers in 2001.

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