|NATO-Russia: The Logic of Common Interests |
NATO-Russia: The Logic of Common Interests
Remarks by the Secretary General of NATO, Lord Robertson, at the Joint Press Conference with the Foreign Minister of Russia, Mr. Igor Ivanov, the Foreign Minister of Belgium, Mr. Louis Michel. Brussels, NATO Headquarters, December 7, 2001.
Meetings between NATO and Russia are always important. This meeting today of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council has carried with it even higher expectations than usual. These expectations have not been disappointed.
Building on the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, and growing practical cooperation including in the fight against terrorism, the Allies and Russia have agreed to work towards the creation of a new council to identify and pursue opportunities for joint action at 20.
We will together be looking for opportunities to engage in joint consultation and cooperation, joint decisions and joint action.
The precise nature and scope of this mechanism will require substantial work over the coming months. But the Allies and Russia are determined to make this initiative work. There is no issue more important to the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area than the further development of a confident and cooperative relationship between us.
Today’s decision is therefore a major step towards completing NATO’s vision of shaping real security with its partners.
Everyone will benefit from this initiative. We and Russia are not abandoning our own principles or prerogatives. No non member can veto the Alliance’s decisions. Nor can NATO veto Russia’s right to take independent decisions. This is about working together more effectively when it is in all our interests to do so.
What President Putin described to me two weeks ago today as the logic of common interests has been given a dramatic impulse by our joint fight against terrorism. We now have a unique opportunity to build a better, more stable future with full and wholehearted Russian participation.
Today, we have grasped that opportunity.