For NATO, Russia is an essential partner with whom the Allies share a number of security interests, particularly regarding Afghanistan. The political dialogue and practical cooperation between the 29 members of the NATO-Russia Council contribute to strengthening security in the Euro-Atlantic area and help them trespond together to common threats.
At the end of the Cold War, NATO and Russia opened a political dialogue in the framework of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC), which became the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997. In 1997, they signed the NATO-Russia Founding Act in Paris.
In this document, which emphasized that the Allies and Russia "do not consider each other as adversaries", the Parties announced their intention "to build together a lasting and inclusive peace in the Euro-Atlantic area based on the principles of democracy and cooperative security".
In 2002 the Rome Declaration was signed, establishing the NATO-Russia Council in which the Allies and NATO would cooperate as equal partners to respond together to common threats. After the Russian-Georgian conflict of August 2008, the work of the NATO-Russia Council was suspended for about a year and was resumed at the end of 2009. The Lisbon and Chicago Summits confirmed the Allies’ commitment to developing a true strategic partnership with Russia.
Afghanistan : NATO and Russia cooperate actively on the stabilization of Afghanistan, which is a common security issue. Since 2008, Moscow has been providing Allies with important logistic facilities for the transit of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) equipment to and from Afghanistan. Training activities for the Afghan security forces have been developed under the auspices of the NATO-Russia Council, particularly in the area of counter-narcotics. Another NRC initiative has been helping equip the Afghan security forces since 2010 by funding the purchase and maintenance of helicopters.
Missile defence : faced with the growing threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles, the Heads of State and Government of the NATO-Russia Council decided at the Lisbon Summit of November 2010 to cooperate on defending their territories and populations against this kind of attack.
In the context of NATO-Russia Council work to define the principles of this cooperation, the Allies proposed the establishment of two joint NATO-Russia centres for the sharing of radar data and for the planning and conduct of operations, as well as the development of a system of mutual transparency as regards missile defence capabilities.
At the Chicago Summit in May 2012, the Heads of State and Government of NATO also reaffirmed that NATO’s future missile defence system was not aimed at the Russian strategic forces but, on the contrary, was designed to meet ballistic threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area. France fully supports the principle of open, pragmatic and transparent cooperation between NATO and Russia, as reaffirmed by President Hollande at the Chicago Summit.
Counter-terrorism: :the members of the NATO-Russia Council have regular exchanges on counter-terrorism. In particular, the NATO-Russia Council has set up two major scientific projects in this area:
- the Cooperative Airspace Initiative (CAI), in operation since December 2011, uses the exchange of air traffic data to prevent any hijacking of aircraft by terrorists. Since the outset, France has been highly involved in this project, which it is funding at approximately 20%;
- the STANDEX project, led on behalf of NATO by the French Atomic Energy Commission, develops technologies for the stand-off detection of explosives in public transportation. France has already contributed more than €600,000 to this project and its first tests were carried out in May 2013.
For more information: :
Webpage on NATO-Russia relations on the NATO website: