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Press Statement
12 June 1998

 

Statement
NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council Meeting At Defence Ministers Level

 

The NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (PJC) met at the level of Defence Ministers on Friday, 12th June 1998 in Brussels. During this, their second meeting, Ministers noted with satisfaction the first anniversary of the signing of the NATO-Russia Founding Act and reaffirmed their commitment to playing their full part in bringing concrete substance to the work of the PJC in defence-related and military fields.

Ministers discussed the situation in and around Bosnia and Herzegovina, including SFOR operations and the international communityšs response to the crisis in Kosovo. Ministers agreed to continue NATO-Russia cooperation in SFOR following the end of its current mandate, thus helping to consolidate the peace.

With regard to Kosovo, they condemned Belgradešs massive and disproportionate use of force as well as violent attacks by Kosovar Albanian extremists. They reaffirmed their determination to contribute to international efforts to resolve the crisis and promote regional stability.

Ministers reviewed progress in implementing the 1998 PJC Work Programme, noting in particular the practical work being carried forward in the joint working groups on peacekeeping and civil emergency planning. They also noted the consultations held on non-proliferation issues, on nuclear affairs and infrastructure development programmes, on retraining of retired officers and the extensive talks held to elaborate possible areas of armaments cooperation. They welcomed the establishment of Russiašs Mission to NATO with the office of a senior Russian military representative as an integral part.

Ministers stressed the importance of increased military cooperation between NATO and Russia, including the monthly meetings of military representatives. They welcomed the participation of Russian units in the PfP Exercise ŗCOOPERATIVE JAGUAR˛, which took place in May in Denmark, and the arrival of two Russian liaison officers at the Partnership Coordination Cell at Mons. Ministers were also briefed on the status of the reform of the armed forces in the Russian Federation and on developments of the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) concept.

Ministers agreed to build on the progress achieved to date including the desirability of finalizing the Russian Individual Partnership Programme under Partnership for Peace, as agreed in the PJC Work Programme for 1998. They welcomed the beginning of negotiations on the establishment of reciprocal military liaison missions, as provided for by the NATO-Russia Founding Act, and confirmed the aim of establishing a NATO military liaison mission in Moscow by the end of the year.

NATO and Russia agreed to meet again at the level of Defence Ministers in December 1998.