Source Pravda.Ru

Russian Foreign Minister: Russia-NATO Council should function effectively in any political situation

A meeting of the Russia-NATO Council is taking place today in Moscow. As a Rosbalt correspondent was informed by the press office of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the meeting will be attended by Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov as well as NATO General Secretary George Robertson.

The Russian foreign minister said it was the first meeting of the council to be held in Moscow. 'We see this as further confirmation of the willingness to work together to solve the security problems in the North Atlantic area,' he said.

In Mr Ivanov's opinion Russia and NATO have 'managed to overcome their mistrust and begun to form bilateral relations based on equality and acceptance of each other's interests.' However, he expressed his concern that the adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty has still not been fully introduced and the European countries preparing to enter NATO are not members of this treaty and therefore have no limitations on arms production. 'Unless this treaty is introduced by May 2004 there could be dangerous inconsistency between our military capabilities and the existing system of weapons control could be jeopardized,' he said.

In Mr Ivanov's opinion, the Russia-NATO Council should become a 'reliable system of resolving all security problems including regulation procedures. The Russia-NATO Council should function effectively in any political situation.'