News

USIS Washington 
File

17 December 1997

TEXT: SOLANA STATEMENT ON NATO-RUSSIAN RELATIONSHIP

(Cites cooperation in Bosnia, NATO Documentation Center) (440)



Brussels -- "We have made quite remarkable progress in building
cooperation between NATO and Russia," NATO Secretary General Javier
Solana said in a press statement December 17 in Brussels, "In
virtually every area covered by the Founding Act, we have launched
concrete programs and activities."


Solana said, "Today we approved a detailed work program for 1998. We
decided that a NATO Documentation office would be opened in Moscow by
January 31st. We also discussed the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina
and exchanged views on peacekeeping."


Following is the text of the press statement:



(Begin text)



NATO Press Release

December 17, 1997



PRESS POINTS FOR SECRETARY GENERAL



I am very pleased again to welcome Minister Primakov to NATO
Headquarters.


1997 is a very special year in the relationship between NATO and
Russia.


The first five months my friend Evgeniy and I spent locking horns in
an attempt to define a new basis for our relationship. Both of us, I
think, felt that this was timely after the end of an age of
confrontation. I think it was also necessary to provide a framework
for the many possibilities of constructive cooperation between NATO
and Russia that had remained untapped for so long.


In May in Paris we knew that -- on paper -- we had succeeded. Now we
know that the document we signed then, the Founding Act, is becoming
through our joint efforts a productive avenue of exchange,
consultation and cooperation of vital importance to security in the
Euro-Atlantic area.


In September in New York and today in Brussels we have held two
meetings of the Permanent Joint Council at Ministerial level. Two
weeks ago we also had our first meeting of Defense Ministers. The new
Russian Military Representative, General Zavarzin, is installed in
Brussels and is meeting monthly with his NATO counterparts under the
auspices of the PJC [Permanent Joint Council]. So did the Chiefs of
Staff of NATO and Russia at the beginning of this month.


We have made quite remarkable progress in building cooperation between
NATO and Russia. In virtually every area covered by the Founding Act,
we have launched concrete programs and activities.


Today we approved a detailed work program for 1998. We decided that a
NATO Documentation office would be opened in Moscow by January 31st.
We also discussed the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and exchanged
views on peacekeeping.


Our work is set on the right tracks and is gathering momentum.



By the time of our next meeting at Ministerial level in Luxembourg in
May 1998, I am confident that we will be able to confirm this
optimistic outlook.


(End text)