Updated: 29-May-2001 Press Statement

29 May 2001


NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council Meeting at Ministerial level held in Budapest on 29 May 2001

The NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (PJC) met at the level of Foreign Ministers on Tuesday, 29 May 2001 in Budapest.

Ministers noted with satisfaction progress achieved since their last meeting in December 2000. They examined future priorities of the PJC Work Programme for 2001 and reaffirmed their commitment to build, within the framework of the PJC, a more solid partnership in the interest of security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area, as enshrined in the NATO-Russia Founding Act.

Building on the useful exchanges held at PJC meetings at Ambassadorial level, Ministers reviewed the situation in the Balkans. They noted the high degree of common ground achieved through intensive dialogue and cooperation.

Ministers reiterated their full commitment to the security, stability and territorial integrity of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia(1) . They welcomed Skopje's efforts in isolating the extremist elements and preventing a further escalation of the crisis. They urged all ethnic groups to unite in solidarity against extremists and violence.

Ministers welcomed the contributions made by the democratic government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to enhancing prospects for long-term stability across the region. They encouraged the continuation of efforts to find a peaceful solution to the problems in southern Serbia, taking into account the peace plan of the FRY/Serbia authorities which seeks to normalise inter-ethnic relations in this area.

Ministers expressed their support for a democratic Montenegro within a democratic Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. They noted the danger of unilateral action and called for an early resumption of a constructive dialogue between the authorities in Belgrade and Podgorica, aiming at an agreed re-definition of federal relations.

With regard to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, they noted the good cooperation between the contingents of NATO and Russia in theatre. They reconfirmed their determination to implement the Dayton Peace Accords and UNSCR 1244 in all their aspects. In this context, they expressed deep concern about the recent challenges to the Dayton Peace Accords and strongly condemned the continued incidents of political and ethnic violence in and around Kosovo as well as extremist and terrorist activities.

Ministers noted a Progress Report on the implementation of the PJC Work Programme for 2001 and expressed their satisfaction with the broad range of issues addressed in the PJC since their last meeting. These included, inter alia, Russian proposals for non-strategic missile defence, nuclear weapons issues, including inter alia NATO proposals for Confidence and Security Building Measures in the nuclear field, defence reforms, arms control, problems of proliferation, the retraining of discharged military personnel, combating international terrorism as well as dialogue on ways and means to improve cooperation in the EAPC and PfP. Ministers in particular welcomed the progress achieved in NATO-Russia cooperation on search and rescue at sea.

Ministers welcomed the inauguration of the NATO Information Office in Moscow in February and looked forward to the contribution it will make to improve public understanding of evolving relations between NATO and Russia.

NATO and Russia emphasised the importance they attach to the further development of military-to-military cooperation. In this context, Ministers welcomed the ongoing consultations on the establishment of a NATO Military Liaison Mission in Moscow (MLM).

Ministers expressed their determination to take the NATO-Russia partnership further forward, making good use of the full potential of the Founding Act. They agreed to meet again at Ministerial level in Brussels on 6 December 2001.

1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.

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