TRANSCRIPT OF RUSSIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS IGOR IVANOV REMARKS AT MEETING WITH JOURNALISTS FOLLOWING TALKS WITH PRESIDENT OF ITALIAN COUNCIL OF MINISTERS SILVIO BERLUSCONI IN LUXEMBOURG, APRIL 15, 2002
Unofficial translation from Russian
Russian-Italian relations have achieved exclusively high results in all areas lately, and reached the level of partner-like cooperation. The recent official visit paid to Russia by Silvio Berlusconi, President of the Italian Council of Ministers, evidences this. His talks with President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin have effectively given a new quality to our relations. In the first place, I mean the agreement for holding on a regular basis extended interstate consultations with the participation of key ministers of the two countries.
Today we discussed the course of the talks on the creation of a new Russia-NATO cooperation mechanism - a political Council at 20. The main emphasis was laid on imparting to the new cooperation mechanism a genuinely equal character, where each of the parties will be working as an equal partner in its national capacity.
The aim of the Russia-NATO dialogue is to build a new quality of cooperation where the principle of common responsibility for joint decision making and execution will prevail. In this case we assume that each party to Council at 20 will be seeking to achieve consensus at the stage of decision elaboration. Work in the Council at 20 format will become a real embodiment of our common determination jointly to counteract new common challenges to security in the Euro-Atlantic region. Russia and NATO are convinced that the security of all the states is indivisible.
The Russia-NATO summit scheduled for the end of this May in Italy, at which it is borne in mind to adopt a document on the new quality of Russian-NATO cooperation, will doubtless signify an important stage in Russia-NATO relations and make an appreciable contribution to building a new system of security.
April 16, 2002