Nato-Russia Council

Army General Nikolai Makarov, the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, visits NATO’s Operational Command

james stavdriv and nikolay e makarov

Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Admiral James Stavridis and Army General Nikolay E. Makarov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces

Army General Nikolay Makarov, the Chief of the Russian General Staff, visited Allied Command Operations at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium, on 17 January. He met the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, received operational briefings and toured SHAPE facilities, including the bunker housing the command of NATO forces in Europe.

Upon his arrival, Army General Makarov was personally greeted by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe Admiral James Stavridis and an Honour Guard.

Army General Makarov was briefed on NATO's current operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo as well as on the results of last year's operation in Libya. He was also given an opportunity to learn more about the reform of the Alliance's command structure and other ongoing military reforms.

His tour of SHAPE's facilities included a visit to the future Comprehensive Crisis Operations Management Centre. Army General Makarov also became the first Russian top military commander to visit the bunker housing the command of NATO forces in Europe.

The following day, Army General Makarov joined his Allied counterparts at NATO headquarters in Brussels for a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) at Chief of Staff Level, at which the NATO-Russia Council Military Representatives Work Plan for 2012 was endorsed. During his visit, the Army General awarded medals to three senior officers of NATO's International Military Staff in recognition of their contribution to strengthening of combat cooperation.