George Robertson: NATO, Russia are the kernel of the international security-ensuring coalition

To ward off new threats, the Euro-Atlantic community has in its possession a true security-ensuring coalition, of which NATO and Russia are the kernel, NATO Secretary-General George Robertson said on Monday, addressing an international conference called "The Role of the Military in the Struggle against Terrorism," which is being held under the aegis of the Russia-NATO Council.

In his opinion, problems like regional conflicts, proliferation of mass destruction weapons, ecological crime, organized crime, smuggling and, of course, international terrorism "can only be solved by means of the widest cooperation." That is exactly why NATO is stepping up cooperation with other countries. "And No. 1 is Russia," he stressed.

He also said both NATO and Russia were engrossed in an active effort to reform their military structures. Military reform dialogue is a major constituent of the activity of the Russia-NATO Council.

As far as the North Atlantic Alliance is concerned, it is engrossed in "deep modernization of its political aims, structures, forces and means, the goal being participation in the international campaign against terrorism and proliferation of mass destruction weapons," said Robertson.

"This means NATO is turning not into a world gendarme but into a more efficient partner in the world community's struggle against the threats of the 21st century," he concluded.

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