The NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council met at the level of Defence Ministers on Wednesday 3rd December 1997 in Brussels. At this, their first meeting following the signing of the NATO-Russia Founding Act, Ministers pledged themselves to playing their full part in bringing concrete substance to the historic commitment, entered into at the highest political level, to build a lasting and inclusive peace in the Euro-Atlantic area.
Ministers reviewed developments in Bosnia-Herzegovina. They looked forward to the forthcoming Peace Implementation Council in Bonn on 9/10 December and expressed their great satisfaction at SFOR's success in ensuring the secure environment necessary for the full implementation of the Peace Accords.
They welcomed the close working relations that have been developed between NATO and Russia for the implementation of the military aspects of the Peace Accords. They agreed to draw on the practical experience gained from Bosnia in pursuing their commitment to consultation and cooperation in the field of crisis management and conflict prevention and resolution.
Ministers expressed their satisfaction at steps taken to implement the 1997 work programme, including the beginning of practical work in the newly established joint working groups on peacekeeping and civil emergency planning and disaster relief. They noted progress in developing Russia's Individual Partnership Programme (IPP) in PfP.
The Defence Ministers discussed and outlined the prospective directions of cooperation between the military structures of NATO and Russia aimed at strengthening peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region.
Ministers exchanged views on measures which could be taken to promote transparency and confidence between NATO and Russia, and on other topics of mutual interest in the field of NATO/Russia cooperation.
They welcomed the arrival of Russia's Military Representative in Brussels and the beginning of regular meetings between NATO and Russian military representatives, which will now be occurring monthly in the framework of the PJC. They looked forward to the first PJC meeting tomorrow in Chiefs of Defence Staff session.
The Defence Ministers of NATO and the Russian Federation welcomed the substantive character of the discussions today and expressed their commitment to a strong and enduring partnership and to strengthening mutual trust and cooperation.