Updated: 04-Jun-2003 Press Releases


4 June 2003


Meeting of the NATO-Russia Council
at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs
Madrid, Spain, Wednesday 4 June 2003

On 28 May 2003, the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) marked its first anniversary. One year ago, the Heads of State and Government of NATO member states and Russia gathered in Rome. Their purpose was to open a new page in their relations, aimed at enhancing their ability to work together in areas of common interest and to stand together against common threats and risks to their security.

Contributing to forging a safer and more prosperous future for all members of the NRC, and to the benefit of all in the Euro-Atlantic region, substantial work has been undertaken over the past year in the framework of the NRC. Across the full spectrum of tasks defined in the Rome Declaration, the NRC is evolving into a productive mechanism for consultation, consensus building, cooperation, joint decision and joint action. As a result, NATO-Russia relations are being elevated to a new quality.

The NRC is developing a continuous political dialogue on security issues with a view to early identification of emerging problems, determination of optimal common approaches and the conduct of joint actions, as appropriate. Enhanced cooperative efforts will further increase the capability of NATO and Russia to act together, including through greater interoperability. As envisioned by the Rome Declaration, the NRC is thus making a solid contribution to the long-standing common goal of building a stable, peaceful and undivided Europe.

On 4 June 2003, we, the Foreign Ministers of the NATO-Russia Council, met in Madrid. As part of the continuous political dialogue envisioned in the Rome Declaration, Foreign Ministers exchanged views on the contributions of the NRC to Euro-Atlantic security. We welcomed the results of recent NRC consultations on the situations in Afghanistan, Serbia and Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. We further highlighted the common views and objectives agreed by the NRC in the area of border security in the Balkans, and looked forward to enhancing practical cooperation in this field.

Welcoming the results of the 13 May meeting of the NRC at Ambassadorial level in Moscow – the first-ever meeting of the Council on Russian soil, we noted the substantial progress made in moving forward practical cooperation in all fora of the NRC over the past year in each of the areas of cooperation highlighted in the Rome Declaration:

  • In the struggle against terrorism, we welcomed the agreed detailed threat assessments on the terrorist threat to the Euro-Atlantic area, and looked forward to further work in this field. We expressed confidence that the successful Moscow Conference on the Role of the Military in Combating Terrorism would result in further intensification of NRC cooperation. We also noted encouraging progress in NATO-Russia initiatives for combating terrorism through civil science.
  • In crisis management, we expressed satisfaction with the substantial contributions the Russian contingents in peace operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Kosovo, namely in SFOR and KFOR, had made to the common mission of promoting peace and stability in the Balkans, and confidence that the practical experience gained through these operations would provide a solid basis for further expanding military-to-military cooperation. We noted the approval by the NRC of political modalities for possible future NRC peacekeeping operations, and welcomed the launch of a procedural exercise to address these modalities. We welcomed the continued exchange of views on peacekeeping issues, and in particular, the intention of holding a seminar in Berlin in the autumn on enhancing interoperability in peacekeeping through training and education.
  • In non-proliferation, we welcomed the progress achieved to date and looked forward to a joint assessment of the threats posed by the proliferation of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and their means of delivery, expected later this year.
  • In arms control and confidence-building measures, we noted the assurance of NATO member states that decisions taken by the Alliance at its Summit meeting in Prague are not directed against the security interests of Russia or any other Partner state. We reiterated the goals, principles and commitments contained in the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security, and in the Rome Declaration, which apply to all current and future members of the Alliance. We recalled that NATO’s position on providing political assurances of restraint, expressed in these same documents, has not changed. Reaffirming adherence to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) as a cornerstone of European security and reaffirming our determination to fulfill the commitments reflected in the Final Act of the 1999 Conference of the States Parties to the CFE Treaty, and calling upon all States Parties to promote achievement of this shared goal, we agreed to continue to work cooperatively toward ratification by all the States Parties and entry into force of the Agreement on Adaptation of the CFE Treaty, which would permit accession by non-CFE states. We welcomed the approach of those non-CFE countries who have stated their intention to request accession to the adapted CFE Treaty upon its entry into force, and agreed that their accession would provide an important additional contribution to European stability and security. We reiterated our determination to take practical steps to further implement the NATO-Russia Nuclear Experts Consultations Work Plan, with a focus on activities related to nuclear weapons safety and security.
  • In theatre missile defence, we welcomed the progress that has been made in developing a common terminology and conceptual basis for potential future TMD deployments to support a Crisis Response Operation (CRO) involving NATO and Russian forces. We noted an agreement on the first phase of a detailed interoperability study addressing technical requirements and possibilities for co-operation in joint, combined operations. The study, coupled with the agreement to plan and conduct a NATO-Russia TMD Command Post Exercise in the United States, confirms the commitment of the 20 nations to develop practical approaches to working together and enhancing interoperability between Allied and Russian systems.
  • In search and rescue at sea, we welcomed the signature of the NATO-Russia Framework Agreement on Submarine Crew Escape and Rescue, and reaffirmed our commitment to enhanced cooperation in search and rescue at sea.
  • In military-to-military cooperation, an essential prerequisite for NATO and Russia to act together on the basis of continuously enhanced interoperability, we welcomed the decision, reflected in the 2003 NRC Work Programme, to intensify NRC cooperation in military training and exercises. We noted the approval by NRC Chiefs of Defence and General Staff at their meeting in Brussels on 13 May of the Conceptual Framework for the development of the four-phase exercise and training programme. We further welcomed the concrete progress achieved to date in advancing NATO-Russia cooperation on logistics, air transport and air-to-air refuelling.
  • In defence reform, we welcomed the results of the Rome Seminar, and the subsequent decision to develop cooperation, inter alia, on a general framework of defence reform and evolution of the military, the management of human and financial resources, managing consequences of defence reform and the reform of defence industries. Noting the fundamental importance of the modernisation and restructuring of armed forces to meet contemporary security threats, we reaffirmed our determination to intensify cooperation in this area, including on macro-economic, financial and social issues of defence reform, so that the members of the NRC might benefit from each other’s experience. We noted with satisfaction the practical contributions that have been made by the NATO-Russia Centre for Officer Retraining.
  • In civil emergencies, we welcomed the results of the exercises “Bogorodsk 2002,” hosted by Russia in September 2002, and “Ferghana 2003”, hosted by Uzbekistan in April 2003, both held under the auspices of the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC). As previously agreed, NRC work on civil emergency planning will concentrate initially on the three areas of enhanced interoperability, improving procedures and intensified sharing of information, expertise and experiences.
  • On new threats and challenges, we welcomed progress made in scientific cooperation and in relation to the challenges of modern society and noted an Action Plan for 2003, which seeks to enhance cooperation in areas such as advanced training in environmental protection, re-use of former military lands, improving the quality of water adjacent to military sites and environmentally friendly industrial technologies.
  • On the NRC Cooperative Airspace Initiative, which aims at enhancing co-operation in airspace management, safety and transparency, we noted that a feasibility study to identify possible solutions for the reciprocal exchange of data on civil and military air traffic pictures had been agreed, funded and was in the early stages of development.

Concluding this constructive review of cooperative efforts underway in the NRC, we reiterated our determination to continue to intensify practical cooperation in each of these areas within the framework of the NATO-Russia Council. We further underscored our determination to continue and deepen the development of political dialogue in the NRC.

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