Cooperation between Russia and NATO.


Overview of NATO- Russia relations.


Since the end of the Cold War,
NATO
has attached particular importance to the development of constructive and cooperative
relations
with
Russia
. Over the past ten years,
NATO
and
Russia
have succeeded in achieving substantial progress in developing a genuine partnership and overcoming the vestiges of earlier confrontation and competition in order to strengthen mutual trust and cooperation.


Since 1991, the Alliance and
Russia
have been working together on a variety of defence and security-
related
issues. In 1994,
Russia
joined the Partnership for Peace Programme, further enhancing the emerging broad
NATO
-
Russia
dialogue.
Russia
\'s participation in the implementation of the Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina was a particularly significant step towards a new cooperative relationship. For the first time, Allied and Russian contingents worked side by side in a multinational military operation.


By signing the
NATO
-
Russia
Founding Act on Mutual
Relations
, Cooperation and Security


May 1997,
NATO
and
Russia
institutionalised and substantially enhanced their partnership. They committed themselves to further developing their
relations
on the basis of common


interests and created a new forum to achieve this goal: the
NATO
-
Russia
Permanent Joint Council (PJC). Since July 1997 the PJC has been the principal venue for consultation between
NATO
and
Russia
. Its central objective is to build increasing levels of trust by providing a mechanism for regular and frank consultations. Since the conclusion of the Founding Act, considerable and encouraging progress has been made in intensifying consultation and cooperation. The PJC has developed into an important venue in which to consult, to promote transparency and confidence-building and to foster cooperation.


Initial constructive work in the PJC was, however, increasingly overshadowed by the emerging crisis in Kosovo. This development culminated in
Russia
\'s suspension of cooperation within the PJC on 24 March 1999, as a result of
NATO
\'s air campaign to end the Kosovo conflict. After the end of the Kosovo campaign,
Russia
returned to the PJC, but for some months limited its agenda to topics
related
to Kosovo.
Russia
also agreed to contribute a significant number of troops to the
NATO
-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), as provided for in UN Security Council Resolution 1244.


Following the setbacks encountered in 1999, a visit to Moscow by
NATO
Secretary General Lord Robertson in February 2000 helped to restore a broader relationship, going beyond the Kosovo agenda. As a result of that visit,
NATO
and
Russia
once again are actively engaged in implementing the objectives of the Founding Act. Building on the positive momentum achieved during the Secretary General\'s visit, monthly PJC meetings and regular Ministerial meetings of the PJC have provided a further positive impetus to
NATO
-
Russia
cooperation across the board. This has included the opening of a
NATO
Information Office in Moscow by the
NATO
Secretary General in February 2001 and the beginning of consultations on the establishment of a
NATO
Military Liaison Mission in Moscow.


Fifth anniversary of NATO-Russia
special relationship - a turning point


Exactly five years ago, on 27 May 1997, Russia\'s President, Boris Yelstin, the then NATO Secretary General, Javier Solana, and NATO Heads of State and Government signed the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation. The Founding Act acknowledged that NATO and Russia were no longer adversaries and marked the beginning of a new era in relations.


This fifth anniversary will also become a turning point in the history of NATO-Russia relations with the holding of a NATO-Russia Summit in Rome on 28 May. The Summit will lay the ground for a new relationship between NATO member countries and Russia by establishing a new forum for discussion and decision making: the NATO-Russia Council. This forum builds on the achievements of the Founding Act, which set out a wide agenda of topics on which NATO and Russia could collaborate and, in particular, established the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (PJC) where NATO member countries and Russia could consult on a regular basis. The new Council will replace the PJC and take the relationship further by operating on the principle of consensus, allowing NATO members and Russia to work "as equal partners in areas of common interest while preserving NATO\'s prerogative