Cooperation with Russia
Another key element in the new architecture is strengthening cooperation
with Russia. Russia is preeminent by its size, geostrategic importance,
and military potential among the states emerging from communist tyranny,
and is sure to have a major influence on Europe's security. An active and
constructive security relationship with Russia is critical to building
a stable European future. If the West is to create an enduring and stable
security framework for Europe, it must solve the enduring
strategic problem of integrating the former communist states, especially
Russia, into a stable European security system.
To this end, the United States and its allies are pursuing strengthened
relations with Russia on a bilateral basis, as well as in various multinational
fora. Russia is already involved in most aspects of the emerging architecture.
It participates actively in the OSCE and worked closely with the United
States in upgrading that organization. Russia has signed an ambitious partnership
agreement with the EU. It is a candidate for membership in the Council
of Europe and the OECD. The United States supports deeper Russian participation
in the Group of 7 industrialized nations and is sponsoring Russia's membership
in the World Trade Organization, successor to the General Agreement on
Tariffs and Trade. For the first time since 1945, Russia is participating,
as a member of the Contact Group on Bosnia, in a multinational negotiating
team presenting a unified position on a difficult European security issue.
As part of these European ties, the United States and its NATO allies
have agreed with Russia to develop relations between the Alliance and Russia,
in parallel to NATO expansion, both within PFP and outside it. The need
for a special effort toward Russia is inherent in Russia's importance in
European security. Indeed, if NATO expansion and PFP are to succeed in
their goal of helping to ensure a more stable and secure Europe for all
Europeans, a close, enduring, and cooperative relationship between NATO
and Russia is absolutely essential. Of course, we face challenges in defining
and developing this relationship. Although Russia has joined PFP, many
Russians still harbor a negative attitude toward NATO and its policies.
This reaction reflects Russian misconceptions concerning NATO's process
enlargement, and historical habits of regarding NATO as Russia's "enemy."
Through cooperation with NATO, Russia will see that the Alliance is no
enemy, that a stable Central Europe is in Russia's interest, and that the
United States and its allies are working to avoid the divisions that existed
in the past.
The first steps in building a new NATO- Russia relationship have already
been agreed to in principle -- active Russian participation in PFP commensurate
with that nation's importance and capabilities, and implementation of the
plan for cooperation in a wide range of areas outside PFP. Beyond that,
we are considering how we could establish a new longer-term NATO-Russia
relationship in time, through some type of formal agreement. The precise
nature of such an agreement, as to form and content, remains to be determined.
It could well involve substantially enhanced consultation procedures on
issues affecting European security. It would also likely involve mutual
guarantees of peaceful relations. In the months ahead, we hope the Alliance
and Russia can achieve an understanding on the direction in which the
NATO-Russian relationship should evolve.
The goal of such an arrangement will be to ensure, without compromising
either NATO's or Russia's right of independent decision, that each is fully
aware of the other's concerns and that there are no "surprises" on issues
of mutual concern. We intend to develop such an arrangement in parallel
with progress on NATO enlargement. However, neither Russia nor any other
nation outside the Alliance will have a veto over that process. Enlargement
and development of the NATO-Russia relationship are complementary yet separate