Moscow Hosts Russia-NATO Negotiations

Both Russia and NATO will have to learn how to set common goals, take joint decisions and make joint efforts to realise these decisions, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said on Friday while opening negotiations with NATO Secretary General George Robertson. "I'm sure in this case we will be able to work out adequate mechanisms of cooperation," the minister stressed. Igor Ivanov said he was sure the meetings and negotiations the NATO Secretary General would have in Moscow "will make it possible to boost cooperation" between Russia and the Alliance and to develop cooperation in the interests of overall security and stability. The Russian Foreign Minister stressed that at the present time, Russia and NATO member-countries were showing "a clear political will to take far-reaching steps towards a new character of Russia-NATO cooperation." According to Igor Ivanov, Moscow has paid attention to the fact that George Robertson began his Russian visit from Volgograd. For Europeans, the Russian Foreign Minister said, this city on the Volga is a symbol of that moment in the world history when all the countries were fighting against a common enemy. "Today we are facing common threats and challenges again," the minister said. According to Ivanov, now "it is not enough just saying that we are not enemies. We should launch specific actions in the fight against these threats and challenges as partners." In this connection, Moscow expects that the NATO Secretary General's meetings and negotiations will help both sides start forming a new format of partnership. In his turn, George Robertson said that at present such words as "historic and unprecedented" were too often mentioned, however, he expressed the hope that "the discussions being held today will prove really historic and unprecedented."

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