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Statement
09 December 1998

 

Statement
The NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (PJC) met at the level of Foreign Ministers on Wednesday, 9 December 1998 in Brussels.

 

Ministers emphasized the importance of the fundamentally new relationship initiated by the NATO-Russia Founding Act and welcomed progress made so far in developing a strong, stable and enduring partnership on the basis of common interest, reciprocity and transparency. They stressed in particular the useful role the PJC had played to promote consultations, coordination and joint action, and the need to further develop its potential to deepen cooperation between NATO and Russia.

In reviewing the implementation of the 1998 PJC Work Programme since their last meeting, Ministers noted, among others, the consultations held on the contribution by NATO and Russia and the role of the PJC in creating a security architecture in the Euro-Atlantic region, on non-proliferation issues, on disarmament and arms control, on information activities, on military aspects of measures to promote cooperation, transparency and confidence between NATO and Russia as well as on infrastructure development programmes.

They welcomed the inaugural meeting of the NATO-Russia Joint Scientific and Technological Cooperation Committee held on 19 November 1998 in Moscow, and reviewed the ongoing work at experts level in the field of peacekeeping. They emphasized progress made in exploring possible armaments-related cooperation and welcomed the recent agreement on the creation of a joint NATO-Russia Information and Consultation Centre in Moscow on Retraining of Discharged Military Personnel.

Ministers discussed the ongoing negotiations on an adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE). They are determined to undertake all necessary steps to complete as soon as possible the adaptation of the Treaty in accordance with the Declaration issued by the OSCE Ministerial Council in Oslo.

They agreed a detailed Work Programme for the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council for 1999, outlining a broad range of issues for consultations which will continue to promote transparency and confidence between NATO and Russia in the political and defence-related fields, as well as a number of practical cooperation activities, such as projects in the fields of civil emergency planning and defence-related environmental cooperation.

Ministers reviewed the situation in and around Bosnia and Herzegovina. They called on all parties to the Peace Agreement to increase their efforts to implement the agreement in full, and thus to create the conditions for a peaceful, stable and prosperous future. They emphasized the value of continued NATO-Russia military cooperation in SFOR on the ground as well as the regular consultations held in the PJC framework in this respect.

In the same context, Ministers discussed the situation in Kosovo. They stressed the need for a political settlement of the conflict and called for close coordination of the efforts of international and regional organisations involved in the process. They highly valued the intensive consultations held in the framework of the Permanent Joint Council, which helped clarify the positions of both sides. Ministers expressed their concern about continuing breaches of the ceasefire and stressed the need to see immediate and full compliance with the UN Security Council Resolutions 1160, 1199 and 1203 by all parties to the conflict.

Ministers were pleased with progress of military cooperation between NATO and Russia, including the participation by Russian units in the exercise "Cooperative Assembly" which took place in Albania in August. They welcomed progress made in the negotiations on the establishment of NATO Military Liaison Mission in Moscow and noted with satisfaction the successful port visit by NATO's Standing Naval Force (Atlantic) to St. Petersburg.