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Fact Sheet: NATO-Russia Council

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

Fact Sheet: NATO-Russia Council
NATO-Russia

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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