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 Home > News & Policies > May 2002

President's Trip to
Europe and Russia

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 28, 2002

Fact Sheet: NATO-Russia Council

  • Reflecting the Transformed Relationship Between NATO and Russia, President Bush and the other NATO Heads of State and Government have agreed with Russian President Putin to establish the NATO-Russia Council (NRC).

  • The creation of the NRC opens a new era in NATO-Russia relations, providing opportunities for consultation, joint decision, and joint action on a wide range of issues.

  • The NRC will focus on specific, well-defined projects where NATO and Russia share a common goal. NATO and Russia have agreed on an initial, specific workplan, which includes projects in the following areas:

    • Assessment of the terrorist threat
    • Crisis management
    • Non-proliferation
    • Arms Control and Confidence-Building Measures
    • Theater Missile Defense
    • Search and Rescue at Sea
    • Military-to-Military Cooperation
    • Defense Reform
    • Civil Emergencies
    • New Threats and Challenges (including scientific cooperation and airspace management)

  • Other projects may be added as the NRC develops.

  • The NRC does not affect NATO's existing responsibilities as a political and military alliance based on collective defense. The NRC does not provide Russia a veto over NATO decisions or action. The NATO Allies retain the freedom to act, by consensus, on any issue at any time.

  • NATO Allies will decide among themselves the issues they will address in the NRC, as well as the extent to which they will take a common position on these issues.

  • Representatives from Moscow first took part in meetings at NATO in 1991, as part of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC). In 1997, the NATO-Russia "Founding Act" established a NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (PJC). The PJC held its last meeting in Reykjavik on May 14, 2002.

  • NATO-Russia cooperation since the Founding Act has taken a variety of forms. Russian troops have participated in the NATO-led SFOR and KFOR operations, and discussions in the PJC addressed issues such as non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, arms control, and defense reform.

  • NATO has also established an Information Office in Moscow, where NGOs, academic institutions, and interested Russian citizens can obtain firsthand information about NATO.

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