The session of the Russia-NATO Joint Permanent Council at the level of foreign ministers scheduled for December 7 will discuss transformation of cooperation mechanisms from "19+1" format into a political "twenty." This was disclosed Thursday by Alexander Yakovenko, an official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, in his interview to RIA Novosti. According to him, the meeting in Brussels will focus on searching specific ways to impart a new quality to Russia-NATO relations. Yakovenko specified that the "twenty" prospective agenda could include such issues as combating international terrorism, finding replies to new risks and threats, counteracting to proliferation of mass destruction weapons, and responding to crises. The Russian diplomat noted that Russia and NATO intend to further develop and use a considerable political potential stipulated in the Russia-NATO Founding Act. According to Yakovenko, the existing multi-layer mechanism of the Russia-NATO Joint Permanent Council sessions will be further used actively for a dialogue and interaction in issues, which will be out of the "twenty" competence. Yakovenko pointed out that taking into account Russia's military and defence self-sufficiency and collective obligations of the alliance member-countries under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, there is a common understanding to leave these issues outside the dialogue in the format of "twenty."
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