|Updated: 13-Nov-2002||November 2002|
Lord Robertson met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Brussels today, 11 November, to discuss issues on NATO’s agenda ahead of the Prague Summit and the state of NATO-Russia co-operation.
The Secretary General briefed President Putin on the Alliance’s plans for the Summit and the work of the NATO-Russia Council since its establishment in May this year.
“I underlined my strong conviction that the outcome of Prague will benefit all countries, including Russia,” said Lord Robertson at a press conference following the meeting, “None of our decisions will in any way be contrary to Russia’s vital security interests.”
Lord Robertson also said that all the members of the NATO-Russia Council “can be proud” that it had succeeded in converting the pledges and promises made at the May 2002 NATO-Russia Summit into concrete decisions and activities in areas ranging from peacekeeping in the Balkans, missile defence to search and rescue at sea and defence reform.
President Putin expressed his satisfaction with the state of NATO-Russia relations and highlighted the fight against terrorism as one of the main areas for co-operation. He thanked the Secretary General for his support during the recent hostage crisis and said that a NATO-Russia conference will be held in Moscow on 9 December to specifically examine the role of the military in fighting terrorism.
This was the first meeting of the Secretary General with President Putin after the establishment of the NATO-Russia Council, which brings together the 19 NATO Allies and Russia to identify and pursue opportunities for joint action at 20 as equal partners.
A meeting of the Council at the level of Foreign Ministers will be held during the NATO Summit in Prague, 21 and 22 November.