Partnership with Russia must become one of NATO's basic principles, NATO Secretary General George Robertson said Thursday as addressing a Brussels conference which discussed the Alliance's role in the world which has changed. Lord Robertson singled out co-operation with Russia among the five basic principles NATO will adhere to in the 21st century. Most Westerners used to view Russia as a problem, he recalled. It is no longer so.
NATO and Russia do have disagreements, admitted Lord Robertson. There are problems which can well be resolved without Russia's involvement. However, there are far more problems which call for Russia's contribution. These are terrorism, the proliferation of mass destruction weapons and missile technologies, and crises settlement, to name but few, according to the NATO chief.
NATO and Russia have a huge co-operation potential, while the new NATO-Russia Council is a key to realising this potential, he emphasised.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation will hold a summit in Prague, the Czech Republic, on November 21st-22nd to consider accepting new members and outline basic activity principles in the 21st century.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969