Updated: 13-Feb-2003 February 2003

8 Feb. 2003


NATO and Russia sign submarine rescue agreement

NATO and Russia have signed a landmark agreement on mutual help and co-operation in the area of submarine crew search and rescue at sea.

The agreement was signed by NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov on 8 February at the Munich Conference on Security Policy.

It specifies that NATO and Russia will work to standardise search and rescue procedures, collaborate in developing the necessary equipment, exchange relevant information and conduct joint exercises.

Working together

“Submarine search and rescue is a fine example of what our relationship really means,” said Lord Robertson during the signing ceremony. Defence Minister Ivanov said he was sure this agreement would be the first of many to come.

The agreement has been elaborated in the framework of the NATO-Russia Council, which was established in May 2002 to bring together the 19 NATO Allies and Russia to identify and pursue opportunities for joint action at 20 as equal partners.

Following the sinking of the Kursk in August 2000, Russia and NATO have been working closely to develop and broaden cooperation in the area of submarine crew rescue. Russian officers have been involved in NATO and Partnership for Peace exercises, workshops and working groups. The Framework Document on Submarine Crew Rescue is an important step forward in this area of humanitarian co-operation.

Additional information:

  • Issue: NATO-Russia Relations