Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov has confirmed that Russia really can influence NATO's decision-making. In an interview with the Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper, Sergei Ivanov stated that "Russia has such an opportunity." According to him, the Declaration on New Relations between Russia and NATO, which was adopted in Rome this May and the subsequent establishment of a new council allows Russia to cooperate with NATO member-states as an equal partner. "Within the framework of the Council, Russia and other Council members will take joint decisions and consequently, be equally responsible for their implementation," Sergei Ivanov stressed.
The Russian Defence Minister believes that if the Rome agreements are practically implemented, then this will guarantee that "political relations between Russia and NATO will be as trustful and comply with a similar cooperation pattern as those between NATO member-states." "This will be the main result," Sergei Ivanov emphasised.
In the same interview, the Russian Minister stated that a steady development of Russia-NATO cooperation "does not imply that other nations outside NATO cannot equally participate in the process to establish new European and global security." "We believe that NATO's accession of Northern European countries, including Finland, will not contribute either to the success of the international anti-terrorist effort, nor to a stable and long-lasting peace both in the region and around the globe," Sergei Ivanov concluded.