Nato-Russia Council

NRC Terminology Experts Meet

NATO-Russia Council Expert Group on Terminology
NRC Expert Group on Terminology, Centre left: Co-Chairwoman Radoslava Stefanova, Centre right: Co-Chairman Colonel Stepanov

Linguistic experts from NATO and the Russian Ministry of Defence Military University met on 28 January for a three day long meeting to discuss ongoing cooperation through the NRC Expert Group on Terminology (NRC(EGT).


Work in the NRC(EGT) this year will focus on developing two new glossaries. The new glossaries will provide a common linguistic basis on Ammunition Demilitarisation/Disposal and Counter-Narcotics, facilitating practical cooperation in the these areas.


The NRC(EGT) is co-chaired by Radoslava Stefanova, Head of Russia and Ukraine Relations in the Political Affairs and Security Policy Division of NATO, and retired Colonel Sergey Stepanov, Head of English language Department at the Military University of the Russian Defence Ministry. Linguistic cooperation has been underway since 1998, and over the years the Expert Group on Terminology has produced a number of English-Russian, and Russian-English Glossaries to support practical cooperation.


The NATO-Russia Council published the Consolidated Glossary of Cooperation in 2011, which included terminology on a range of subjects relevant to NRC work, including counter terrorism, defence reform, logistics, search and rescue, and counter piracy. Then in 2012, NRC experts continued their valuable work by producing three new glossaries, on Counter Piracy, Helicopter Maintenance, and Missile Defence. All NRC glossaries are available in digital format and can be downloaded from the NRC website here.


Colonel Stepanov gave an interview with the NRC Website on the vital work NRC terminology experts are taking forward:


This is what Colonel Stepanov had to say about linguistic cooperation through the NATO-Russia Council:


“Linguistic cooperation is extremely important as it provides a common linguistic basis for cooperation, and therefore facilitates practical cooperation done between, for example the Russian military and NATO’s military structure, by facilitating common understanding.


All of the glossaries have been produced at the request of the NRC’s leadership. In each case the request has been because practical cooperation is taking place in these areas and the glossaries go on to be used by experts in facilitating their common understanding.


Our latest achievement was the counter piracy glossary. I am confident that the work done will help considerably in furthering cooperation at sea between NATO and Russian ships on counter piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. Going forward we are involved in two new projects: on ammunition demilitarisation and counter narcotics, which we are aiming to finish this year. On ammunition demilitarisation, there is a subject matter expert participating in the work and the terminology that the work is focusing on may even be put into use even before the glossary itself is published.”


The significance of the Expert Group on Terminology’s work is demonstrated by their continuing use in practical cooperation on a number of projects, including training Afghan Helicopter technicians. Most recently during Counter Piracy training in Greece, participants were able to use the latest NRC glossary extensively to facilitate communication during exercises.