Press conference by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen following the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at the level of Defence Ministers
NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
08 Jun. 2011
by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen following the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at the level of Defence Ministers
We have just finished a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council. I can truly say this was an important meeting. Because it’s the first time that Defence Ministers have met in three years. And because we discussed issues that matter to us all.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen : We have also taken stock of work on missile defence since our historic Lisbon Summit. We are coming closer to reaching agreement on the key principles which should govern this cooperation. Transparency, confidence building and mutual reassurance will guide our work in the NATO-Russia Council in the months and years ahead.
The missile threat is real – and we need a real defence. We want real cooperation with Russia on missile defence. Our vision is two independent systems with one goal. Two systems that would exchange information to make the defence of NATO territory and of Russian territory more effective.
We also discussed the progress of NATO’s mission to protect the people of Libya. As part of the international community, NATO and Russia share a clear goal: to ensure the people of Libya can shape their own future in freedom.
NATO and Russia also share an interest in a stable Afghanistan. One excellent example of cooperation is the transit for Afghanistan, which is being used by Allies and other ISAF contributors. Counter-narcotics training conducted in the framework of the NATO-Russia Council is another success story. And the Helicopter Trust Fund is a timely initiative which can greatly benefit Afghan security forces.
We are working on tangible projects to counter terrorism: the exchange of classified information; developing technology able to detect explosive devices; and ways to improve protection of critical infrastructure.
As I speak, NATO and Russian fighter jets are holding their first ever joint exercise over Poland and the Black Sea. The Cooperative Airspace Initiative aims to prevent attacks such as 9/11 by sharing information and coordinating interceptions of renegade aircraft.
This is good news. And it comes just days after a Russian submarine joined for the first time a NATO submarine rescue exercise. Our military cooperation is making steady progress.
Finally, I am happy to confirm that next month the NATO-Russia Council at level of Ambassadors will meet in Russia, in the city of Sochi. With that, I am ready to take your questions.
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