28 May 2002

At the start of the 21st century we live in a new, closely interrelated world, in which unprecedented new threats and challenges demand increasingly united responses. Consequently, we, the member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Russian Federation are today opening a new page in our relations, aimed at enhancing our ability to work together in areas of common interest and to stand together against common threats and risks to our security.
       AS PARTICIPANTS OF the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security, we reaffirm the goals, principles and commitments set forth therein, in particular our determination to build together a lasting and inclusive peace in the Euro-Atlantic area on the principles of democracy and cooperative security and the principle that the security of all states in the Euro-Atlantic community is indivisible.
       We are convinced that a qualitatively new relationship between NATO and the Russian Federation will constitute an essential contribution in achieving this goal. In this context, we will observe in good faith our obligations under international law, including the UN Charter, provisions and principles contained in the Helsinki Final Act and the OSCE Charter for European Security.
       Building on the Founding Act and taking into account the initiative taken by our foreign ministers, as reflected in their statement of 07 December 2001, to bring together NATO member states and Russia to identify and pursue opportunities for joint action at 20, we hereby establish the NATO-Russia Council.
       In the framework of the NATO-Russia Council, NATO member states and Russia will work as equal partners in areas of common interest. The NATO-Russia Council will provide a mechanism for consultation, consensus-building, cooperation, joint decision, and joint action for the member states of NATO and Russia on a wide spectrum of security issues in the Euro-Atlantic region.
       The NATO-Russia Council will serve as the principal structure and venue for advancing the relationship between NATO and Russia.
       It will operate on the principle of consensus. It will work on the basis of a continuous political dialogue on security issues among its members with a view to early identification of emerging problems, determination of optimal common approaches and the conduct of joint actions, as appropriate.

       The members of the NATO-Russia Council, acting in their national capacities and in a manner consistent with their respective collective commitments and obligations, will take joint decisions and will bear equal responsibility, individually and jointly, for their implementation.
       Each member may raise in the NATO-Russia Council issues related to the implementation of joint decisions.
       The NATO-Russia Council will be chaired by the secretary general of NATO. It will meet at the level of foreign ministers and at the level of defense ministers twice annually and at the level of heads of state and government as appropriate. Meetings of the council at ambassadorial level will be held at least once a month, with the possibility of more frequent meetings as needed, including extraordinary meetings, which will take place at the request of any member or the NATO secretary general.
       To support and prepare the meetings of the council, a preparatory committee is established, at the level of the NATO political committee, with Russian representation at the appropriate level. The preparatory committee will meet twice monthly, or more often if necessary. The NATO-Russia Council may also establish committees or working groups for individual subjects or areas of cooperation on an ad hoc or permanent basis, as appropriate. Such committees and working groups will draw upon the resources of existing NATO committees.
       Under the auspices of the council, military representatives and chiefs of staff will also meet. Meetings of chiefs of staff will take place no less than twice a year, meetings at military representatives level at least once a month, with the possibility of more frequent meetings as needed. Meetings of military experts may be convened as appropriate.
       The NATO-Russia Council, replacing the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council, will focus on all areas of mutual interest identified in Section III of the Founding Act, including the provision to add other areas by mutual agreement.
       The work programs for 2002 agreed in December 2001 for the PJC and its subordinate bodies will continue to be implemented under the auspices and rules of the NATO-Russia Council.
       NATO member states and Russia will continue to intensify their cooperation in areas including the struggle against terrorism, crisis management, nonproliferation, arms control and confidence-building measures, theater missile defense, search and rescue at sea, military-to-military cooperation, and civil emergencies. This cooperation may complement cooperation in other fora. As initial steps in this regard, we have today agreed to pursue the following cooperative efforts:
       Struggle against terrorism:
       Strengthen cooperation through a multifaceted approach, including joint assessments of the terrorist threat to the Euro-Atlantic area, focused on specific threats, for example, to Russian and NATO forces, to civilian aircraft, or to critical infrastructure; an initial step will be a joint assessment of the terrorist threat to NATO, Russia and Partner peacekeeping forces in the Balkans.
       Crisis management:
       Strengthen cooperation, including through regular exchanges of views and information on peacekeeping operations, including continuing cooperation and consultations on the situation in the Balkans; promoting interoperability between national peacekeeping contingents, including through joint or coordinated training initiatives; and further development of a generic concept for joint NATO-Russia peacekeeping operations.
       Broaden and strengthen cooperation against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the means of their delivery, and contribute to strengthening existing nonproliferation arrangements through a structured exchange of views, leading to a joint assessment of global trends in proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical agents; and exchange of experience with the goal of exploring opportunities for intensified practical cooperation on protection from nuclear, biological and chemical agents.
       Arms control and confidence-building measures:
Recalling the contributions of arms control and confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs) to stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and reaffirming adherence to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) as a cornerstone of European security, work cooperatively toward ratification by all the states parties and entry into force of the Agreement on Adaptation of the CFE Treaty, which would permit accession by non-CFE states; continue consultations on the CFE and Open Skies Treaties; and continue the NATO-Russia nuclear experts consultations.
       Theater missile defense:
       Enhance consultations on theater missile defense (TMD), in particular on TMD concepts, terminology, systems and system capabilities, to analyze and evaluate possible levels of interoperability among respective TMD systems, and explore opportunities for intensified practical cooperation, including joint training and exercises.
       Search and rescue at sea:
       Monitor the implementation of the NATO-Russia Framework Document on Submarine Crew Rescue, and continue to promote cooperation, transparency and confidence between NATO and Russia in the area of search and rescue at sea.
       Military-to-military cooperation and defense reform:
       Pursue enhanced military-to-military cooperation and interoperability through enhanced joint training and exercises and the conduct of joint demonstrations and tests; explore the possibility of establishing an integrated NATO-Russia military training center for missions to address the challenges of the 21st century; enhance cooperation on defense reform and its economic aspects, including conversion.
       Civil emergencies:
Pursue enhanced mechanisms for future NATO-Russia cooperation in responding to civil emergencies. Initial steps will include the exchange of information on recent disasters and the exchange of WMD consequence management information.
       New threats and challenges:
       In addition to the areas enumerated above, explore possibilities for confronting new challenges and threats to the Euro-Atlantic area in the framework of the activities of the NATO Committee on Challenges to Modern Society (CCMS); initiate cooperation in the field of civil and military airspace controls; and pursue enhanced scientific cooperation.
       The members of the NATO-Russia Council will work with a view to identifying further areas of cooperation.
Putin and Bush talk after the signing

IF SOMETHING'S WRONG HERE, TRY MIRROR 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, or C
NATO formally welcomes Russia as a participant today but not a voting member in the organization created 53 years ago to contain Soviet power and expansion, another major step in its effort to lock in Moscow's drift toward the West.
      Under the agreement signed in Rome at an extraordinary meeting of the leaders of NATO countries, organized as a capstone to President Bush's six-day tour through Europe and Russia, Moscow will for the first time be given a consultative role in forging NATO strategy on nuclear nonproliferation, crisis management, missile defense and counter-terrorism.
      But in an indication that NATO's members are still not fully convinced that Russia's experiment with democracy and capitalism is irreversible, Moscow will not have a role in NATO's core military alliance, in which all members pledge to protect the others from attack. Nor will Russia have a veto over NATO decisions or a vote in the expansion of its membership, including NATO's plans to invite new nations to join at a meeting in Prague in November. Mr. Bush, attending the session at a NATO air base under extraordinary security, said today that "two former foes are now joined as partners, overcoming 50 years of division and a decade of uncertainty."
      Mr. Bush later left for a meeting at the Vatican with the ailing Pope John Paul II, where he was expected to refer only elliptically to the way church leaders have handled the child-abuse scandal surrounding the American Catholic church. "I'm going to listen closely to what the Pope has to say," Mr. Bush said before the meeting. "I will tell him that I am concerned about the Catholic Church in America, I'm concerned about its standing. I say that because the Catholic Church is an incredibly important institution in our country." The White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer, later confirmed that in 20-minute private talks with the pope, Mr. Bush brought up the topic of the pedophilia scandals. "He did raise the issue exactly as he said he would this morning," Mr. Fleischer said, adding that the two men also discussed religious freedom in Russia, United States relations with Russia and the Middle East.
      Mr. Bush said today's formal agreement to create a "NATO-Russia council" reflected the calculation that cooperation with the world's second largest nuclear power "is more likely to be achieved by welcoming Russia west." Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, fresh from a three-day visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg by President Bush, clearly reveled in the speed at which he has been able to negotiate both nuclear reductions and a position of respect, if not power, in NATO's councils. "The significance of this meeting is difficult to overestimate," Mr. Putin said earlier, noting that a few years ago such a role for Russia "would have been, simply, unthinkable, whereas today it has become a reality." But Mr. Putin, who at his first meeting with Mr. Bush a year ago publicly raised the possibility of full Russian membership in NATO, also injected a note of caution. "Being realists, we must remember that relations between Russia and the North Atlantic alliance have been historically far from straightforward," he said. Although Russia was not admitted as a full member and may never be — "we must understand this Rome Declaration represents only a beginning," he said. The new arrangement between Russia and the alliance replaces a five-year-old accord, negotiated during the Clinton Administration, that allowed Russia to take part in discussions with NATO only after all of the alliance's members had reached agreement on a unified position. That left Russia only able to respond to NATO action, an arrangement that Russia complained was a sham, and that the other 19 members of the organization conceded did too little to reflect Russia's concerns and its influence.
      Under the new arrangement, Russia will be in on the discussions from the start, but it will have the same kind of voting status that, say, the representative of Washington, D.C., to Congress has: She sits on the floor, but casts no binding vote.
      Meeting with reporters in the afternoon, US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell agrees that while Russia and the United States are reducing their nuclear arsenals drastically, and cooperating in NATO, each country is maintaining enough weapons and distance to allow it what he called "a hedge." "We'll always have a hedge against uncertainty in the future, in our military forces in the nuclear weapons that the United States will continue to retain," he said. "It's a hedge against the future, because there are other nations that possess nuclear weapons or might come to possess nuclear weapons." But he said that neither Russia nor NATO is now "looking for conflict." "I don't think we're going to see a rerun of this movie," he said, talking of the cold war. "The movie didn't play well the first time, and I see no reason why any future Russian leader with a state that is only roughly 55% of the size of the old Soviet Union would find it in its interests in any way to try to act in an aggressive manner."
From left, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson and President Bush pose on stage following the group photo at the NATO Russia summit in the Pratica di Mare Italian Air Force base on the outskirts of Rome, 28 May 2002, after NATO and Russia signed a new agreement of cooperation creating the NATO-Russia Council.

Concerned about terrorist attacks, Italy deployed 15'000 security forces members and mounted robust air and sea defenses to protect the 20 world leaders. All Italian airlines and some foreign carriers suspended Rome operations to guard against possible hijackings. The world leaders at the summit said the meeting heralded a new era of cooperation on fighting global terrorism threats, and signaled the end of the Cold War: “Two former foes are now joined as partners, overcoming 50 years of division and a decade of uncertainty,” Bush said in remarks to the council. “This partnership takes us even closer to a larger goal, a Europe that is whole, free and at peace for the first time in history.” Russian President Vladimir Putin, accepting his country’s new role, said “this is only the beginning. We have come a long way from confrontation to dialogue, and from confrontation to cooperation.” He continued: “The significance of this meeting is difficult to overestimate,” Putin said, noting that a few years ago, such a role for Russia “would have been, simply, unthinkable, whereas today it has become a reality.”
• NATO's evolution
Leader after leader cited 11 September, and the lingering terror threat, as a catalyst for new cohesion and determination among NATO members. “The months since have made clear that by working together against these threats, we multiply our effectiveness,” Bush said. For more than a decade since the fall of the Soviet Union, NATO and Russia have been at odds over how to overcome Cold War rivalries. While the Kremlin and the 19-member alliance have cooperated on peacekeeping operations and conducted joint military exercises, the closer cooperation envisioned in the new NATO-Russia alliance is expected to effectively bury the hatchet on decades of Cold War animosity.
Russia’s participation comes as NATO looks forward to expanding further in November and as it ponders its role in an age when Russia is no longer an adversary, but a friend. Advertisement Even so, its future involvement will be limited to certain areas. The new partnership will give Russia an equal voice on certain security issues from the fight against terrorism to halting the spread of weapons of mass destruction, emergency planning and peacekeeping. Under the new arrangement, NATO and Russia will decide only on those issues on which they can find consensus. More contentious issues will be left off their agenda, and NATO will keep a free hand in setting and implementing policy.
For Putin and President Bush, it was their second get-together in a week. Bush spent three days in Russia last week as part of a four-nation European tour, visiting both Moscow and St. Petersburg. In Moscow last week, the two leaders agreed to slash their strategic nuclear arsenals to one-third of the present levels over the next decade. Bush began the day Tuesday with a visit with Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. Bush, who has been looking tired in recent days, was asked whether he had gotten over his jet leg. “Who’s got jet lag?” he replied. May 27 — On a Memorial Day visit, President Bush speaks at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, where approximately 9,400 Americans who died during the D-Day landings are buried. On Monday, Bush marked the Memorial Day holiday with a tour of Normandy, site of the June 6, 1944, D-Day invasion that ultimately liberated France and turned the tide of World War II. “Our security is still bound up together in a trans-Atlantic alliance, with soldiers in many uniforms defending the world from terrorists at this very hour,” Bush said at the Normandy American Cemetery. The United States counts Russia as a key ally in the present anti-terrorism war — just as it was a key ally in World War II. The intervening Cold War repeatedly has been pronounced ended.
In advance of the ceremony, NATO opened a military mission in Moscow on 27 May 2002. “This will allow ... NATO and Russia, to discuss ... and take decisions on things to be done in collaboration in fields of security and military interests,” said Italian Admiral Guido Venturioni, head of NATO’s military committee. Putin put a different spin on the new arrangement, portraying it as “an extra contribution by Russia to international security.”
      The new council is to replace a consultative body set up in May 1997 to ease Moscow’s alarm over NATO’s plans to include some of Russia’s Soviet-era allies and neighbors. The rupture over the NATO bombing campaign in Yugoslavia undermined the earlier effort. NATO will meet in November in Prague and likely expand by six or seven Eastern European nations, some of which border Russia. The last time NATO expanded was in 1999, when Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic joined. That expansion was approved only after long, contentious debate in the U.S. Senate and elsewhere. This time, little opposition has surfaced to opening NATO’s doors wider. Even Putin appears resigned to what the Bush administration is calling a “robust enlargement.” But some in Moscow are more skeptical. Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko told RIA Novosti news agency — in comments later attributed to a Kremlin source — that the defense alliance’s plan for a second round of eastward enlargement was a “mistake.” “From whom is NATO preparing to defend its new members?” he said. “And why is such a defense needed if we are no longer enemies and the period of confrontation is over?” Some European allies have expressed concern that the Bush administration sees NATO as increasingly irrelevant. U.S. commanders were frustrated in having to coordinate every step with NATO partners in the 1999 Kosovo war. In the Afghanistan campaign, NATO essentially sat on the sidelines. Bush administration officials would like to see NATO improve its military capacity — becoming more mobile and more effective — as it enlarges to complete the reunification of Europe.
      After Tuesday’s NATO summit, Bush went to the Vatican for a meeting with Pope John Paul II before heading home to the United States.
[photo: Bush receives a present from the Pope]

     US President Bush on 28 May 2002 took before Pope John Paul II his concerns about the state of the Roman Catholic Church in light of the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the institution.
      Upon arriving at the papal palace, Bush was escorted past a row of Swiss Guards in red-plumed helmets and into a study where the pope stood waiting beside his desk. Leaning on his chair for support, the frail pontiff motioned for Bush to sit on the opposite side of the desk and the president did, perching expectantly on the edge of his armchair. The pope then took his seat, adjusted his desk mat and began their private talks.
      At a NATO-Russian summit before the meeting, Bush described the pope as “a man of enormous dignity and compassion,” and expressed a desire to discuss alleged sexual improprieties committed by priests in the United States. “I’m going to listen closely to what the Pope has to say,” Bush said. “I will tell him that I am concerned about the Catholic Church in America, I’m concerned about its standing. “I say that because the Catholic Church is an incredibly important institution in our country,” Bush said. “I’m also going to mention the fact that I appreciate the Pope’s leadership.”
In April 2002, the pope summoned U.S. cardinals to the Vatican to discuss the sex scandals. He condemned sexual abuse by priests as criminal, and said there is no room in the priesthood for those who engage in such behavior. Bush’s comments were his first on the matter since March, when he said he was confident the church would “clean up its business.” He backed embattled Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston, who has become a lightning rod for criticism since.
     “I respect him a lot,” Bush said in March shortly after Law had given prosecutors the names of at least 80 priests accused of sexually abusing children. Roman Catholic voters are highly sought after, because they tend to switch party allegiances from election to election according to the candidate they prefer, and often can tip the balance at the ballot box. Polls show Americans are disappointed by the church’s handling of the sex abuse situation.
Bush last had an audience with the pope in July 2001. When the two met then at the pope’s summer residence, the top issue was stem cell research. The pope urged Bush to reject research on human embryos — one of many voices he heard before announcing support for federal funding for limited medical research on existing lines of embryonic cells. John Paul went into Tuesday’s meeting after a trying five-day trip to Azerbaijan and Bulgaria, which concluded Sunday with the Vatican suggesting the pope may have to cut back on future trips. Throughout his 24-year papacy, the only trips postponed because of John Paul’s health were a 1994 visit to New York after the pontiff broke his leg and a trip to Armenia in 1999 after he came down with the flu.