Ivanov: Russia-NATO Council's practical returns

Even today, less than a year after the establishment of the Russia-NATO Council, one can say with confidence that the new mechanism of cooperation has yielded a practical effect, said Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, following a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and NATO Secretary-General George Robertson.

"A complex programme which has been put into operation is already contributing tangibly to the establishment of a new system of relations based on joint responsibility for maintaining international stability and security in Europe," said the minister. "The very fact of forming the Twenty is evidence that Russia and NATO countries have joined efforts in resisting the perils and challenges of our epoch, above all terrorism." Russia and the Alliance are busy cooperating to promote their contacts to the level of strategic partnership in the North Atlantic environment, continued Ivanov.

We maintain ties in different fields, went on Ivanov. There are a joint approach to anti-crisis measures and a fruitful dialogue on non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons.

Igor Ivanov made a point of military cooperation, including such useful projects as a programme for search and rescue at sea and perfection of control over air traffic.

Complex processes of designing European security architecture are shaping up, said Ivanov. He mentioned Russia and NATO having assumed responsibility for sustaining security in Europe. Russia and NATO want the Russia-NATO Council to become one of the leading elements of the new system of European security as soon as possible.

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