Russian Foreign Minister Favours Equal Partnership Within Russia-NATO Political "twenty"

All parties to the political "20" should be equal partners, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said upon his arrival in Brussels from Athens to participate in a session of the Russia-NATO Permanent Joint Council. According to him, "it's too early to say in what way we will reach this agreement." The main thing is that "such objective has already been fixed," he stressed. Specific dialogue and cooperation between Russia and NATO serve to solve "the important tasks for security consolidation in Europe," and "now nobody doubts that," the minister said. In connection to this, the Russian foreign minister declared that "taking into account the new nature of relations, our task will be to work out corresponding mechanisms." Moreover, the minister stated, the principles of equal partnership should be based on the fact that "all the participants should have an equal share of participation in the discussions and working out of problems as well as in the practical implementation" of the decisions. In the current situation "Russia and NATO are faced with a common task of counteracting new threats and challenges." "This first of all concerns international terrorism, the threat of proliferation of ! ! weapons of mass destruction," the minister stressed. The Russian Foreign Minister believes that "these dangers have a transnational character." Russia and NATO should adapt the mechanism of cooperation to these "brand new conditions which are forming in international relations," he concluded.

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