NATO Secretary General George Robertson highly estimated the first working year of the NATO-Russia Council. He said this at a press-conference in Brussels following the Council session at the level of defence ministers.
According to Robertson, the twenty members of the NATO-Russia Council can be proud of their contribution to this success.
NATO Secretary General pointed to progress in such key defence spheres as the fight against terrorism, theatre missile defences and military reform.
According to him, the recent meeting was aimed at the development of co-operation in the future. This co-operation includes various issues, in particular, development of interaction and operational co-operation. The ministers agreed that ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan remained an issue of urgent importance.
The Russian part explicitly stated that it would not deploy its soldiers in Afghanistan, George Robertson told journalists at the press conference. Russia may assist NATO's operation for stabilisation and maintenance of order in Afghanistan for instance in terms of granting overflight rights to NATO aircraft. However, in order to define concrete forms of Russia's assistance, it is necessary to outline the demands, which are being currently determined in the course of the operation planning. NATO is considering this issue.
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