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Foreign Policy Analysis
Secretary General – Opening remarks NATO-Russia Council at Foreign Affairs Level

Secretary General – Opening remarks NATO-Russia Council at Foreign Affairs Level

Good morning, and welcome to this meeting
of the NATO-Russia Council. We have much to celebrate together. Next month,
it will be 15 years since we signed the NATO-Russia Founding Act, and 10 years since we signed
the Rome Declaration on NATO-Russia relations that established this very Council. We only
need to think back over the last fifteen years to see we have come a long way and achieved
a lot. Nous pouvons être particulièrement satisfaits
de notre coopération à l’objectif d’un Afghanistan fort et stable. Les premiers techniciens
afghans viennent d’entamer leur formation au centre de maintenance des hélicoptères
de Novossibirsk, avec un financement du Conseil OTAN Russie. Nous renforçons actuellement
nos arrangements de transit. Ce mois-ci, nous allons passer le cap des 2 000 agents originaires
de la région à être formés à la lutte antidrogue. We have also made practical progress in other
areas. Recently, here in Brussels, over 70 civilian and military experts from NATO countries
and Russia conducted a joint exercise on how to deal with a terrorist incident on the high
seas. And at the same time, at a test centre in Germany, we conducted a successful exercise
on missile defence. These computer exercises were conducted in virtual reality. But they
show cooperation between NATO and Russia is real, and can have tangible results. It is well-known that we do not agree on all
issues. But it is also clear that we are committed to continue discussing all issues, at all
times – because the NATO-Russia Council is an all weather-forum. And it still has
untapped potential. Cooperation on missile defence could transform
our relationship. And enhance security for all of us. Because we face the same threats.
And it makes sense for us to cooperate in defending effectively against them. Within NATO, we are making good progress in
developing an integrated, Alliance-wide missile defence system. This system does not threaten
Russia. Nor does it alter the strategic balance. So I am confident that there too, we can find
a way forward, in a spirit of dialogue, trust and transparency that we have built up around
this table over the last fifteen years. And now I thank the members of the press for
joining us, and I now ask that you to kindly leave the room so that we can begin our meeting.

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