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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 15, May 1997

NATO-Russia Founding Act

The text of the Founding Act was agreed on 14 May, and approved by NATO's North Atlantic Council (NAC) on 16 May. Because of its general diplomatic significance, the full text of the agreement is featured below, followed by extracts of statements made by Heads of State and Government at the signing ceremony in Paris on 27 May.

The Founding Act

Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between the Russian Federation and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

"The Russian Federation, on the one hand, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its member States, on the other hand, hereinafter referred to as Russia and NATO, based on an enduring political commitment undertaken at the highest political level, will build together a lasting and inclusive peace in the Euro-Atlantic area on the principles of democracy and cooperative security.

Russia and NATO do not consider each other as adversaries. They share the goal of overcoming the vestiges of earlier confrontation and competition and of strengthening mutual trust and cooperation. The present Act reaffirms the determination of Russia and NATO to give concrete substance to their shared commitment to build a stable, peaceful and undivided Europe, whole and free, to the benefit of all its peoples. Making this commitment at the highest political level marks the beginning of a fundamentally new relationship between Russia and NATO. They intend to develop, on the basis of common interest, reciprocity and transparency a strong, stable and enduring partnership.

This Act defines the goals and mechanism of consultation, cooperation, joint decision-making and joint action that will constitute the core of the mutual relations between Russia and NATO.

NATO has undertaken a historic transformation - a process that will continue. In 1991 the Alliance revised its strategic doctrine to take account of the new security environment in Europe. Accordingly, NATO has radically reduced and continues the adaptation of its conventional and nuclear forces. While preserving the capability to meet the commitments undertaken in [the] Washington Treaty, NATO has expanded and will continue to expand its political functions, and taken on new missions of peacekeeping and crisis management in support of the United Nations (UN) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), such as in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to address new security challenges in close association with other countries and international organizations. NATO is in the process of developing the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI) within the Alliance. It will continue to develop a broad and dynamic pattern of cooperation with OSCE participating States in particular through the Partnership for Peace and is working with Partner countries on the initiative to establish a Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. NATO member States have decided to examine NATO's Strategic Concept to ensure that it is fully consistent with Europe's new security situation and challenges.

Russia is continuing the building of a democratic society and the realization of its political and economic transformation. It is developing the concept of its national security and revising its military doctrine to ensure that they are fully consistent with new security realities. Russia has carried out deep reductions in its armed forces, has withdrawn its forces on an unprecedented scale from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic countries and withdrawn all its nuclear weapons back to its own national territory. Russia is committed to further reducing its conventional and nuclear forces. It is actively participating in peacekeeping operations in support of the UN and the OSCE, as well as in crisis management in different areas of the world. Russia is contributing to the multinational forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

I. Principles

Proceeding from the principle that the security of all States in the Euro-Atlantic community is indivisible, Russia and NATO will work together to contribute to the establishment in Europe of common and comprehensive security based on the allegiance to shared values, commitments and norms of behavior in the interests of all States.

Russia and NATO will help to strengthen the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, including developing further its role as a primary instrument in preventive diplomacy, conflict prevention, crisis management, post-conflict rehabilitation and regional security cooperation, as well as in enhancing its operational capabilities to carry out these tasks. The OSCE, as the only pan-European security organization, has a key role in European peace and stability. In strengthening the OSCE, Russia and NATO will cooperate to prevent any possibility of returning to a Europe of division and confrontation, or the isolation of any State.

Consistent with the OSCE's work on a Common and Comprehensive Security Model for Europe for the twenty-first century, and taking into account the decisions of the Lisbon Summit concerning a charter on European security, Russia and NATO will seek the widest possible cooperation among participating States of the OSCE with the aim of creating in Europe a common space of security and stability, without dividing lines and spheres of influence limiting the sovereignty of any State.

Russia and NATO start from the premise that the shared objective of strengthening security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area for the benefit of all countries requires a response to new risks and challenges, such as aggressive nationalism, proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, terrorism, persistent abuse of human rights and of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities and unresolved territorial disputes, which pose a threat to common peace, prosperity and stability.

This Act does not affect, and cannot be regarded as affecting, the primary responsibility of the UN Security Council for maintaining international peace and security, or the role of the OSCE as the inclusive and comprehensive organization for consultation, decision-making and cooperation in its area and as a regional arrangement under Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter.

In implementing the provisions in this Act, Russia and NATO will observe in good faith their obligations under international law and international instruments, including the obligations of the United Nations Charter and the provisions of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights as well as their commitments under the Helsinki Final Act and subsequent OSCE documents, including the Charter of Paris and the documents adopted at the Lisbon OSCE Summit.

To achieve the aims of this Act, Russia and NATO will base their relations on a shared commitment to the following principles:

  • development, on the basis of transparency, of a strong, stable, enduring and equal partnership and of cooperation to strengthen security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area;
  • acknowledgment of the vital role that democracy, political pluralism, the rule of law, and respect for human rights and civil liberties and the development of free market economies play in the development of common prosperity and comprehensive security;
  • refraining from the threat or use of force against each other as well as against any other State, its sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence in any manner inconsistent with the United Nations Charter and with the Declaration of Principles Guiding Relations Between Participating States contained in the Helsinki Final Act;
  • respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all States and their inherent right to choose the means to ensure their own security, the inviolability of borders and peoples' right of self-determination as enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act and other OSCE documents;
  • mutual transparency in creating and implementing defense policy and military doctrines;
  • prevention of conflicts and settlement of disputes by peaceful means in accordance with UN and OSCE principles;
  • support, on a case-by-case basis, of peacekeeping operations carried out under the authority of the UN Security Council or the responsibility of the OSCE.

II. Mechanism for Consultation and Cooperation: the Russia-NATO Permanent Joint Council

To carry out the activities and aims provided for by this Act and to develop common approaches to European security and to political problems, Russia and NATO will create the Russia-NATO Permanent Joint Council. The central objective of this Permanent Joint Council will be to build increasing levels of trust, unity of purpose and habits of consultation and cooperation between Russia and NATO, in order to enhance each other's security and that of all nations in the Euro-Atlantic area and diminish the security of none. If disagreements arise, Russia and NATO will endeavor to settle them on the basis of goodwill and mutual respect within the framework of political consultations.

The Permanent Joint Council will provide a mechanism for consultations, coordination and, to the maximum extent possible, where appropriate, for joint decisions and joint action with respect to security issues of common concern. The consultations will not extend to internal matters of either Russia, NATO, or NATO member States.

The shared objective of Russia and NATO is to identify and pursue as many opportunities for joint action as possible. As the relationship develops, they expect that additional opportunities for joint action will emerge. The Permanent Joint Council will be the principle venue of consultation between Russia and NATO in times of crisis or for any other situation affecting peace and stability. Extraordinary meetings of the Council will take place in addition to its regular meetings to allow for prompt consultations in case of emergencies. In this context, Russia and NATO will promptly consult, within the Permanent Joint Council in case one of the Council members perceives a threat to its territorial integrity, political independence or security.

The activities of the Permanent Joint Council will be built upon the principles of reciprocity and transparency. In the course of their consultations and cooperation, Russia and NATO will inform each other regarding the respective security-related challenges they face and measures that each intends to take to address them.

Provisions of this Act do not provide Russia or NATO, in any way, with a right of veto over the actions of the other nor do they infringe upon or restrict the rights of Russia or NATO to independent decision-making and action. They cannot be used as a means to disadvantage the interests of other States.

The Permanent Joint Council will meet at various levels and in different forms, according to the subject matter and the wishes of Russia and NATO. The Permanent Joint Council will meet at the level of Foreign Ministers and at the level of Defense Ministers twice annually, and also monthly at the level of ambassadors/permanent representatives to the North Atlantic Council.

The Permanent Joint Council may also meet, as appropriate, at the level of Heads of State and Government.

The Permanent Joint Council may establish committees or working groups for individual subjects or areas of cooperation on an ad hoc or permanent basis, as appropriate.

Under the auspices of the Permanent Joint Council, military representatives and Chiefs of Staff will also meet; meetings of Chiefs of Staff will take place no less than twice a year and also monthly at military representatives level. Meetings of military experts may be convened, as appropriate.

The Permanent Joint Council will be chaired jointly by a representative of Russia, the Secretary General of NATO and, on a rotation basis, a representative of one of the NATO member States.

To support the work of the Permanent Joint Council, Russia and NATO will establish the necessary administrative structures.

Russia will establish a Mission to NATO headed by a representative at the rank of Ambassador. A senior military representative and his staff will be part of this Mission for the purposes of the military cooperation. NATO retains the possibility of establishing an appropriate presence in Moscow, the modalities of which remain to be determined.

The agenda for regular sessions will be established jointly. Organizational arrangements and rules of procedure for the Permanent Joint Council will be worked out. These arrangements will be in place for the inaugural meeting of the Permanent Joint Council which will be held no later than four months after the signature of this Act. The Permanent Joint Council will engage in three distinct activities:

  • consulting on the topics in Section III of this Act and on any other political or security issue determined by mutual consent;
  • on the basis of these consultations, developing joint initiatives on which Russia and NATO would agree to speak or act in parallel;
  • once consensus has been reached in the course of consultation, making joint decisions and taking joint action on a case-by-case basis, including participation, on an equitable basis, in the planning and preparation of joint operations, including peacekeeping operations under the authority of the UN Security Council or the responsibility of the OSCE.

Any actions undertaken by Russia or NATO, together or separately, must be consistent with the United Nations Charter and the OSCE's governing principles.

Recognizing the importance of deepening contacts between the legislative bodies of the participating States to this Act, Russia and NATO will also encourage expanded dialogue and cooperation between the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the North Atlantic Assembly.

III. Areas for Consultation and Cooperation

In building their relationship, Russia and NATO will focus on specific areas of mutual interest. They will consult and strive to cooperate to the broadest possible degree in the following areas:

  • issues of common interest related to security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic or to concrete crises, including the contribution of Russia and NATO to security and stability in this area;
  • conflict prevention, including preventive diplomacy, crisis management and conflict resolution taking into account the role and responsibility of the UN and the OSCE and the work of these organizations in these fields;
  • joint operations, including peacekeeping operations, on a case-by-case basis, under the authority of the UN Security Council or the responsibility of the OSCE, and if Combined Joint Task Forces (CJTF) are used in such cases, participation in them at an early stage;
  • participation of Russia in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the Partnership for Peace;
  • exchange of information and consultation on strategy, defense policy, the military doctrines of Russia and NATO, and budgets and infrastructure development programs;
  • arms control issues;
  • nuclear safety issues, across their full spectrum;
  • preventing the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, and their delivery means, combating nuclear trafficking and strengthening cooperation in specific arms control areas, including political and defense aspects of proliferation;
  • possible cooperation in Theatre Missile Defense;
  • enhanced regional air traffic safety, increased air traffic capacity and reciprocal exchanges, as appropriate, to promote confidence through increased measures of transparency and exchanges of information in relation to air defense and related aspects of airspace management/control. This will include exploring possible cooperation on appropriate air defense related matters;
  • increasing transparency, predictability and mutual confidence regarding the size and roles of the conventional forces of Russia and member States of NATO;
  • reciprocal exchanges, as appropriate, on nuclear weapons issues, including doctrines and strategy of Russia and NATO;
  • coordinating a program of expanded cooperation between respective military establishments, as further detailed below;
  • pursuing possible armaments-related cooperation through association with Russia with NATO's Conference of National Armaments Directors;
  • conversion of defense industries;
  • developing mutually agreed cooperative projects in defense-related economic, environmental and scientific fields;
  • conducting joint initiatives and exercises in civil emergency preparedness and disaster relief;
  • combating terrorism and drug trafficking;
  • improving public understanding of evolving relations between Russia and NATO, including the establishment of a NATO documentation center or information office in Moscow.

Other areas can be added by mutual agreement.

IV. Political-Military Matters

Russia and NATO affirm their shared desire to achieve greater stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic area.

The member States of NATO reiterate that they have no intention, no plan and no reason to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new members, nor any need to change any aspect of NATO's nuclear posture or nuclear policy - and do not foresee any future need to do so. This subsumes the fact that NATO has decided that it has no intention, no plan, and no reason to establish nuclear weapon storage sites on the territory of those members, whether through the construction of new nuclear storage facilities or the adaptation of old nuclear storage facilities. Nuclear storage sites are understood to be facilities specifically designed for the stationing of nuclear weapons, and include all types of hardened above or below ground facilities (storage bunkers or vaults) designed for storing nuclear weapons.

Recognizing the importance of the adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) for the broader context of security in the OSCE area and the work on a Common and Comprehensive Security Model for Europe for the Twenty-First Century, Russia and the member States of NATO will work together in Vienna with the other States Parties to adapt the CFE Treaty to enhance its viability and effectiveness, taking into account Europe's changing security environment and the legitimate security interests of all OSCE participating States. They share the objective of concluding an adaptation agreement as expeditiously as possible and, as a first step in this process, they will, together with other States Parties to the CFE Treaty, seek to conclude as soon as possible a framework agreement setting forth the basic elements of an adapted CFE Treaty, consistent with the objectives and principles of the Document on Scope and Parameters agreed at Lisbon in December 1996.

Russia and NATO believe that an important goal of CFE Treaty adaptation should be a significant lowering in the total amount of Treaty-Limited Equipment permitted in the Treaty's area of application compatible with the legitimate defense requirements of each State Party. Russia and NATO encourage all States Parties to the CFE Treaty to consider reductions in their CFE equipment entitlements as part of an overall effort to achieve lower equipment levels that are consistent with the transformation of Europe's security environment.

Russia and the member States of NATO commit themselves to exercise restraint during the period of negotiations, as foreseen in the Document on Scope and Parameters, in relation to the current postures and capabilities of their conventional armed forces - in particular with respect to their levels of forces and deployments - in the Treaty's area of application, in order to avoid developments in the security situation in Europe diminishing the security of any State Party. This commitment is without prejudice to possible voluntary decisions by the individual States Parties to reduce their force levels or deployments, or to their legitimate security interests.

Russia and the member States of NATO proceed on the basis that adaptation of the CFE Treaty should help to ensure equal security for all States Parties irrespective of their membership of a politico-military alliance, both to preserve and strengthen stability and continue to prevent any destabilizing increase of forces in various regions of Europe and in Europe as a whole. An adapted CFE Treaty should also further enhance military transparency by extended information exchange and verification and permit the possible accession by new States Parties.

Russia and the member States of NATO propose to other CFE States Parties to carry out such adaptation of the CFE Treaty so as to enable States Parties to reach, through a transparent and cooperative process, conclusions regarding reductions they might be prepared to take and resulting national Treaty-Limited Equipment ceilings. These will then be codified as binding limits in the adapted Treaty to be agreed by consensus of all States Parties, and reviewed in 2001 and at five-year intervals thereafter. In doing so, the States Parties will take into account all the levels of Treaty-Limited Equipment established for the Atlantic-to-the-Urals area by the original CFE Treaty, the substantial reductions that have been carried out since then, the changes to the situation in Europe and the need to ensure that the security of no State is diminished.

Russia and the member States of NATO reaffirm that States Parties to the CFE Treaty should maintain only such military capabilities individually or in conjunction with others, as are commensurate with individual or collective legitimate security needs, taking into account their international obligations, including the CFE Treaty.

Each State-Party will base its agreement to the provisions of the adapted Treaty on all national ceilings of the States Parties, on its projections of the current and future security situation in Europe.

In addition, in the negotiations on the adaptation of the CFE Treaty, Russia and the member States of NATO will, together with other States Parties, seek to strengthen stability by further developing measures to prevent any potentially threatening build-up of conventional forces in agreed regions of Europe, to include Central and Eastern Europe.

Russia and NATO have clarified their intentions with regard to their conventional force postures in Europe's new security environment and are prepared to consult on the evolution of these postures in the framework of the Permanent Joint Council.

NATO reiterates that in the current and foreseeable security environment, the Alliance will carry out its collective defense and other missions by ensuring the necessary interoperability, integration, and capability for reinforcement rather than by additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces. Accordingly, it will have to rely on adequate infrastructure commensurate with the above tasks. In this context, reinforcement may take place, when necessary, in the event of defense against a threat of aggression and missions in support of peace consistent with the United Nations Charter and the OSCE governing principles, as well as for exercises consistent with the adapted CFE Treaty, the provisions of the Vienna Document 1994 and mutually agreed transparency measures. Russia will exercise similar restraint in its conventional force deployments in Europe.

Russia and the member States of NATO will strive for greater transparency, predictability and mutual confidence with regard to their armed forces. They will comply fully with their obligations under the Vienna Document 1994 and develop cooperation with the other OSCE participating States, including negotiations in the appropriate format, inter alia, within the OSCE to promote confidence and security.

Russia and the member States of NATO will use and improve existing arms control regimes and confidence-building measures to create security relations based on peaceful cooperation.

Russia and NATO, in order to develop cooperation between their military establishments, will expand political-military consultations and cooperation through the Permanent Joint Council with an enhanced dialogue between the senior military authorities of Russia and of NATO and its member States. They will implement a program of significantly expanded military activities and practical cooperation between Russia and NATO at all levels. Consistent with the tenets of the Permanent Joint Council, this enhanced military-to-military dialogue will be built upon the principle that neither party views the other as a threat nor seeks to disadvantage the other's security. This enhanced military-to-military dialogue will include regularly-scheduled reciprocal briefings on Russian and NATO military doctrine, strategy and resultant force posture and will include the broad possibilities for joint exercises and training.

To support this enhanced dialogue and the military components of the Permanent Joint Council, Russia and NATO will establish military liaison missions at various levels on the basis of reciprocity and further mutual arrangements.

To enhance their partnership and ensure this partnership is grounded to the greatest extent possible in practical activities and direct cooperation, Russia's and NATO's respective military authorities will explore the further development of a concept for joint Russia-NATO peacekeeping operations. This initiative should build upon the positive experience of working together in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the lessons learned there will be used in the establishment of Combined Joint Task Forces.

The present Act takes effect upon the date of its signature. Russia and NATO will take the proper steps to ensure its implementation in accordance with their procedures.

The present Act is established in two originals in the Russian, French and English language.

The Government of the Russian Federation and the Secretary General of NATO will provide the Secretary General of the United Nations and the Secretary General of the OSCE with the text of this Act with the request to circulate it to all members of the organizations."

Remarks at Signing Ceremony

Signing of Founding Act by Heads of State and Government , Paris, 27 May 1997

Russia: President Boris Yeltsin

"What is being created is a foundation for a new type of relations among States. We are determining the face of the future European environment, and the decisions being taken at this time will determine which way and how our continent will enter the next 21st century. ...

What we're going to do now, ladies and gentlemen, is to put our signatures to a historic, in my view, document... We will do that jointly and this will determine the new quality in the relations between Russia and NATO. It will protect Europe and the world from a new confrontation and will become the foundation for a new, fair and stable partnership, a partnership which takes into account the security interests of each and every signatory to this document, to the Founding Act.

This document meets the interests not only of our countries, because this document will help and promote stability throughout Europe an even beyond the borders of that continent. This is our joint accomplishment, and this is also a victory for a reason. ...

What we're going to do today was preceded by very difficult negotiations, maybe the most difficult negotiations throughout the whole period which followed the end of the Cold War. I'll be absolutely frank and candid with you and tell you that for the Russian leadership the decision to prepare a document with NATO was far from easy. We had to make sure we protected the security of our country; but at the same time we also had to, of course, create the basis, the foundation for a constructive cooperation between Russia and NATO.

Russia still views negatively the expansion plans of NATO. At the same time, however, we...pay tribute to the readiness exhibited by NATO countries, despite those difficulties, to reach an agreement with Russia and take into account our interests. ...

Through joint efforts in that document we try to answer very difficult questions. And those very difficult issues deal, first of all, with nondeployment of nuclear weapons and also making sure that such a deployment is not something that we will be preparing for. We also were working on the attitudes towards a reduction of...arms [on the] continent. There is an obligation to non-deploy on a permanent basis of combat forces of NATO near Russia. All of this means that we have agreed not to harm the security interests of each other. And I think it is the most important accomplishment for us all.

What is also very important is that we are creating the mechanisms for consultations and cooperation between Russia and the Alliance. And this will enable us to - on a fair, egalitarian basis - to discuss, and when need be, pass joint decisions on major issues relating to security and stabilities, those issues and those areas which touch upon our interests.

As a result of the signing of the Founding Act, we're opening up for ourselves new possibilities for joint actions in the following areas: in crisis settlement; in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; in further arms reduction, including, of course, the strategic arms. We are also providing ourselves with opportunities to better resist new dangers and threats to security in Europe.

Our agreement, however, at the same time, accomplishing all that, will not harm the interests of any other State. I would like to especially highlight at this point the act which will be signed by heads of States and governments is a firm and absolute commitment for all signatory States. We are under an obligation to make sure that it is implemented in as quickly a time period as possible. ..."

Editor's note: Following the remarks of President Clinton (see below), President Yeltsin stated:

"I, today, after having signed the document am going to make the following decision. Everything that is aimed at countries present here, all of those weapons are going to have their warheads removed."

The President's remarks caused much confusion, compounded when Russian officials reportedly corrected the initiative to one of de-targeting - a move already made. Speaking shortly after the signing ceremony, White House spokesperson Mike McCurry commented on the confusion:

"I will start with the answer to a question a number of you have posed, which is, President Yeltsin's impromptu reference to removing warheads. We are not exactly sure what he meant by that. Apparently, the Russian presidential press spokesman has indicated now that he was making a reference to additional detargeting that the Russian Federation might undertake with respect to non-nuclear members of NATO. We still are not precisely sure what that clarification means..."

See next issue for further comment and reaction.

NATO: Secretary-General Javier Solana

"The beginning of this new chapter of Euro-Atlantic security has been written and will be solemnly sealed in a few moments. The end remains open and depends on us, on our imagination, on our aptitude to take ourselves mutually seriously and our ability to trust each other.

The Founding Act is a success for Russia, for the Alliance and for the whole of the Euro-Atlantic community. It respects the sovereignty of nations, including the right to determine their own security arrangements. Our agreement is also based on the conviction that all nations, without exception, may profit from this new European security architecture which we are seeking to construct.

In front of you now today you see the result of many hours of searching negotiations. But, however frank and intense they may have been, these negotiations were always conducted in a constructive atmosphere. ...

Our work was inspired by the clear conviction that both Russia and NATO can only gain from becoming real partners and cooperating in the new security environment. A daily reminder of this is Bosnia, where Russian soldiers stand shoulder to shoulder with their comrades from NATO and other countries in an effort to bring lasting peace to a wartorn region. ...

The task ahead is clear: to give life to this document by making full use of the newly-created opportunities. The Atlantic Alliance, for its part, is determined to embark on a far-reaching partnership that will help to leave behind the divisions of Europe for good. This is not just a vision. This will be a practical guide to our policy as we step across the threshold of a new century."

France: President Jacques Chirac

"There are times when history pauses for a moment before embarking on a new path. There are moments when the future of whole populations is in the balance, and this for several generations. This summit is one of those appointments that history has made with itself. Today we are building peace. ...

Built on the ruins of World War II, the order that came out of Yalta led to a peace that was unfair, preserved by the balance of terror. At the outset, France, through the voice of General DeGaulle, had refused this unnatural division. Eight years ago, the fall of the Berlin Wall kindled the hope of a Europe at last reconciled with itself.

Our purpose today is to draw the ultimate consequences of that movement of history by eliminating the last remnants of the Cold War. The logic of confrontation between former adversaries is yielding to an era of cooperation amongst equal and respected partners. Just as France wished in launching this initiative, the Paris Accord does not shift the divisions created in Yalta, it does away with them once and for all. ...

The Atlantic Alliance also has engaged in a great reform, the first of such magnitude since its creation. NATO, initially conceived to face a clear-cut and massive threat, is now a lighter, more flexible organization adapted to its new crisis management and peacekeeping missions. This alliance that is renovating itself is no longer that of the Cold War. Europeans will have to be able fully to exercise their responsibilities within it.

As established by the Founding Act, a permanent dialogue, transparency and cooperation at all levels between the allies and Russia will help to banish old reflexes. They will build into habits and mentalities the mutual trust which will be the foundation of our partnership. They must give a new impetus to the disarmament negotiations. The strengthening of the role and the means of the OSCE will make it possible to set the enlargement of the Atlantic Alliance in a wider framework, bringing together with equal rights and obligations all the countries of greater Europe. They must act on two priorities - adaptation of the CFE treaty and the drafting of a charter on European security. ...

A security organization capable of guaranteeing lasting peace in Europe implies the existence of firm and trustful cooperation between the European Union, North America and Russia. The peace process in former Yugoslavia bears witness to such a necessity. As soon as the Americans, the Europeans and the Russians succeed in coordinating their efforts, we were able to make progress towards a settlement of the conflict and sign in this very place on the 14th of December, 1995, the peace agreement on Bosnia and Herze-Govina. ..."

Germany: Chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl

"Today we are signing a document of far-reaching significance for the security and stability of Europe in the twenty-first century. It is the outcome of lengthy and difficult negotiations between NATO and Russia, opening up the prospect of a long-term security partnership in which the interests of all partners are respected. The German Government has played its full part in making the negotiations a success. ...

For decades the continent of Europe was divided. No nation suffered more grievously from this than we Germans, with the Iron Curtain running right through our country's heart. The co-operation on which the countries of the Atlantic Alliance have agreed today is without parallel in history. It is clear and visible proof that the division of Europe has now been overcome. ...

In the new Europe evolving since the end of the Cold War the Atlantic Alliance, too, has changed. Its political and military structures and procedures are being adapted to the new realities. It is ready to expand cooperation with the countries of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. The Alliance remains open to membership by other European countries.

The Russian Federation for its part is going through a process of profound transformation under the leadership of President Yeltsin. Today Russia is a full member of the Council of Europe. The Partnership and Co-operation Agreement with the European Union will shortly be entering into force. This shows that Russia is part of Europe. Now it is time for the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council, too, to start work. This is a new stage on which we are now setting out, a journey we are making together to bring more security and stability to Europe as a whole. Let us resolve to make the most of the tremendous opportunity this day brings to all of us."

United Kingdom: Prime Minister Tony Blair

"A new European landscape is being reclaimed from the battlegrounds of the 20th century and this agreement is part of it.

My father fought in the last great European war. I was born in 1953, a child of the Cold War era, raised amid the constant fear of a conflict with the potential to destroy all of humanity. Whatever other dangers may exist, no such fear exists today. Mine is the first generation able to create the possibility that we may live our entire lives without going to war or sending our children to war. That is a prize beyond value and this agreement is a great contribution to it.

The drawing of this new European landscape has not been easy, as many in this room know better than I. Stability and prosperity are never assured, they can never be taken for granted, but throughout central and eastern Europe political and economic miracles are being wrought. People raised on suffering and pain sense stability and prosperity can now lie ahead. We must encourage that, all of us, in every way that we can. NATO has served my country well, it has served Europe well, it remains the cornerstone of Europe's defence.

And now we can build on this agreement between NATO and Russia we have signed today. And I say that we must not stop here but we must go on. I see three priorities. First, using the consultation mechanisms in the founding act fully and effectively. Success will be measured not by the number of meetings, but by the emergence of real mutual confidence and cooperation. Secondly, we must work together wherever we can on the military side. The political links between the countries of NATO and Russia are much stronger than those on the military net. Let us use this act to correct this. Generals who know each other and trust each other are more likely to understand each other and avoid mistakes.

Thirdly, we must ensure we are not bound by the confines of this founding act. Its use can grow as that partnership deepens. Let us not be afraid of bold thinking about the new world in which we find ourselves today. ..."

United States: President Bill Clinton

"Ladies and gentlemen, on this beautiful spring day in Paris, in the twilight of the 20th century, we look toward a new century with a new Russia and a new NATO, working together in a new Europe of unlimited possibility. The NATO-Russia Founding Act we have just signed joins a great nation and history's most successful alliance in common cause for a long-sought but never before realized goal - a peaceful, democratic, undivided Europe. The United States feels a great deal of gratitude today. The world my predecessors dreamed of and worked for for 50 years is finally within reach. ...

The historic change in the relationship between NATO and Russia grows out of a fundamental change in how we think about each other and our future. NATO's member States recognize that the Russian people are building a new Russia, defining their greatness in terms of the future as much as the past. Russia's transition to democracy and open markets is as difficult as it is dramatic. And its steadfast commitment to freedom and reform has earned the world's admiration.

In turn, we are building a new NATO. It will remain the strongest alliance in history, with smaller, more flexible forces, prepared to provide for our defense, but also trained for peacekeeping. It will work closely with other nations that share our hopes and values and interests through the Partnership For Peace. It will be an alliance directed no longer against a hostile bloc of nations, but instead designed to advance the security of every democracy in Europe - NATO's old members, new members, and non-members alike.

I know that some still see NATO through the prism of the Cold War, and that especially in NATO's decision to open its doors to Central Europe's new democracy, they see a Europe still divided, only differently divided. But I ask them to look again. For this new NATO will work with Russia, not against it. And by reducing rivalry and fear, by strengthening peace and cooperation, by facing common threats to the security of all democracies, NATO will promote greater stability in all of Europe, including Russia. And in turn, that will increase the security of Europe's North American partners, the United States and Canada, as well. ...

The Founding Act we signed captures the promise of this remarkable moment. Now we must implement it in good faith, so that future generations will live in a new time that escapes the 20th century's darkest moments and fulfils its most brilliant possibilities."

Sources: Transcript- remarks at signing of the NATO-Russia Founding Act, United States Information Agency, 27 May; NATO HomePage, World-Wide Web.

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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