The document created the NATO-Russia Council within which the sides will act “as twenty” instead of the earlier “19+1” formula. The summit participants also adopted a joint statement reaffirming their commitment to mutually beneficial cooperation aimed at strengthening European security.
The signing of the Rome Declaration gives a start to building a fundamentally new relationship between Russia and NATO. The Rome document is not a statement of intent, but a solid foundation for joint constructive work, Vladimir Putin told the summit.
The decision to put the Russia-NATO relationship on a new footing was welcomed by millions of Russians. A harmonious coordination of actions in many areas opens up broad opportunities for creating a common security space from Vancouver to Vladivostok, President Putin stressed.
He thanked the heads of state and government of NATO countries for their understanding and for changing their position with regard to Russia. Twenty influential states have displayed awareness of the common basic security interests in the fast-changing modern world, Mr Putin stressed.
For Russia, given its geopolitical situation, the deepening of equal interaction with NATO is a practical manifestation of its multi-faceted approach to which there is no alternative and to which we are firmly committed, President Putin said. He said Russia could not imagine itself outside Europe, but it was equally inconceivable to underestimate the role of the time-tested mechanisms of cooperation in Asia and the CIS.
After the plenary session, Mr Putin had brief talks with US President George Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Hungarian Prime Minister Peter Medgyessy.