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Press Statement
New York, 26 Sep 1997

Press Statement
by the Secretary General

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have just finished Ministerial meeting of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council. This was an historic occasion. The relationship between NATO and Russia is moving to a new qualitative level, based on mutual respect, co-operation and friendship.

Our meeting today was substantive. We focussed on three topics:

  • the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina;
  • the Work Programme of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council from now to the end of the year;
  • peacekeeping where we had an initial exchange of views.

Minister Primakov and Minister Derycke will comment on these last two issues. Let me say a brief word on Bosnia. There should be no doubt n the minds of all the Bosnian parties that Russia and the Allies have a common approach to Boania. We have a common determination to achieve the full implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement. In particular, we call on the
parties to fully respect the results of the municipal elections and to comply with all the commitments they agreed to ar Sintra.

The robust posture of the international community is producing results. The common institutions have started to work and those who oppose the Peace Agreement are being increasingly isolated. We will concentrate all our efforts in the coming months to move the process forward, taking full advantage of the nine months remaining in SFOR's presence. At this delicate time, the
cohesion of the international community in acting together will be crucial. The PJC can help us to achieve this.

So, I am very satisfied with today's meeting and I look forward to our next high level meetings with Russia in the coming weeks. The Defence Minister of Russia, General Sergeyev, will meet NATO Defence Ministers at Maastricht next week. The Russian Chief of Defence, General Kvashnin, will meet the NATO Military Committee in Brussels on 23 October. Our next Ministerial PJC with Foreign Minister Primakov will be in Brussels on December 17.

Russia and NATO are destined to work together. The PJC has great potential to bring NATO and Russia closer together for the benefit of security for the whole of Europe. We must and will - use it to the full.