Nato-Russia Council

Foreign Ministerial: Chairman's opening remarks

NATO-Russia Council Chairman Anders Fogh Rasmussen Opening Remarks 2013-04-23

Meeting of the nato-russia council in foreign ministers’ session on wednesday, 4 december 2013

"Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to this meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at the level of Foreign Ministers.

Russia and NATO both play a critical role in the security of the Euro-Atlantic region.  And today’s meeting will enable us to maintain the momentum in our political dialogue and practical cooperation.

In 2013, we have made progress, including on Afghanistan and the fight against terrorism. And today, we will take our cooperation further across a wide range of areas. We have substantial work ahead of us. We will also launch an important new project: the NATO-Russia Trust Fund on the disposal of excess munitions. This will start with a pilot phase in the Kaliningrad region.

And we will exchange views on global security issues including Afghanistan and Syria.  We support the important work carried out by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons.  This work is challenging, but it is crucial.

Today’s agenda reflects the scope of our partnership, and the importance of our continued dialogue.  And with that, I would like to conclude the public part of our session, and I thank the representatives of the media for their attendance."