After PJC

17 Dec. 1997

Press Points

For Secretary General


I am very pleased again to welcome Minister Primakov to NATO Headquarters.

1997 is a very special year in the relationship between NATO and Russia.

The first five months my friend Evgeniy and I spent locking horns in an attempt to define a new basis for our relationship. Both of us, I think, felt that this was timely after the end of an age of confrontation. I think it was also necessary to provide a framework for the many possibilities of constructive cooperation between NATO and Russia that had remained untapped for so long.

In May in Paris we knew that - on paper - we had succeeded. Now we know that the document we signed then, the Founding Act, is becoming through our joint efforts a productive avenue of exchange, consultation and cooperation of vital importance to security in the Euro-Atlantic area.

In September in New York and today in Brussels we have held two meetings of the Permanent Joint Council at Ministerial level. Two weeks ago we also had our first meeting of Defence Ministers. The new Russian Military Representative, General Zavarzin, is installed in Brussels and is meeting monthly with his NATO counterparts under the auspices of the PJC. So did the Chiefs of Staff of NATO and Russia at the beginning of this month.

We have made quite remarkable progress in building cooperation between NATO and Russia. In virtually every area covered by the Founding Act, we have launched concrete programmes and activities.

Today we approved a detailed work programme for 1998. We decided that a NATO Documentation office would be opened in Moscow by January 31st. We also discussed the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and exchanged views on peacekeeping.


Our work is set on the right tracks and is gathering momentum.

By the time of our next meeting at Ministerial level in Luxembourg in May 1998, I am confident that we will be able to confirm this optimistic outlook.

I now invite Minister Primakov and Minister Axworthy to say a few words.

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