Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov believes it necessary to create a new mechanism of Russia-NATO cooperation which would give Moscow the vote in making decisions within the Alliance. The minister told journalists after a session of the Council of CIS Defence Ministers that "as for the proposals made by British Prime Minister Tony Blair they are being considered in detail, they are interesting and welcomed by Russia." "We will surely discuss them on Thursday at a meeting with NATO Secretary General George Robertson," the Russian minister added. "The essence of these proposals," he explained, "is to create a new mechanism of equal cooperation between NATO member-countries and Russia for the latter to have the vote and the right to make decisions, and, as a prospect, to refrain from the current cooperation format within the Russia-NATO Permanent Joint Council where such a mechanism actually does not work. Today all have become certain of that and acknowledge that unanimously," Sergei Ivanov stressed. Last week, taking into consideration the new quality of partnership relations between the Alliance and Moscow, British Prime Minister Tony Blair suggested that NATO allies enlarge the NATO Council for it to appear in a NATO Council-Russian format.
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