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Video: NATO Russia Council Press Conference with Sergey Lavrov

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Sergey Lavrov's press conference following the NATO-Russia Council. Also available in High Definition.

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Date Taken:12.4.2013

Date Posted:12.4.2013 7:53AM


Video ID:311047



Location:BRU, BE

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Good Afternoon. We have just had a positive and constructive discussion in the NATO-Russia Council. We discussed issues of strategic interest, such as Afghanistan and other international security issues. We discussed Turkey’s request for NATO to augment its air defense, to help defend the population and territory of Turkey, and to help de-escalate the crisis along NATO’s border. As you know, in the spirit of transparency, I called Minister Lavrov almost two weeks ago to raise this issue. In the same spirit, I have just told him that I expect NATO to announce its decision today. NATO’s position is clear: any deployment will be to protect Turkey. It will be purely defensive in nature. It will in no way support a no-fly zone or any offensive operation. It is a clear signal of NATO solidarity. I stressed that point with Minister Lavrov the first time we discussed this issue. And NATO Ministers underlined it again today. We also discussed ways to make the NATO-Russia Council more dynamic. And we agreed on a reinforced program of activities for next year. It builds on our current cooperation, and explores new areas where we can work together. In the past year, we have achieved a lot. We have passed a milestone with the training of over 2,500 counter-narcotics officers from Afghanistan, Central Asia and Pakistan. We have almost completed training 30 helicopter technicians, and provided badly needed spare parts for the Afghan Air Force. We expanded our arrangement for the transit of goods to and from Afghanistan, to include combined transport by rail, road and air. And we declared operational the NATO-Russia Cooperative Airspace Initiative, which aims to prevent terrorists using civilian aircraft in their attacks. This is a good foundation for next year’s ambitious agenda. We will expand our support for the Afghan Air Force by providing training to technicians on more types of helicopter, and in new areas, such as developing the Afghan Air Force’s medical evacuation capability. We will expand our counter-narcotics cooperation with dedicated programs for Afghan police women, training on the use of dogs in the fight against drugs, and more courses in more locations than ever before. And we will consider cooperation on the disposal of excess ammunition. This could make a significant contribution to safety and security. These are all valuable projects, which can bring new vigor to the NATO-Russia Council. Because the NATO-Russia Council is a forum for dialogue at all times and on all issues. Our goal is a strategic partnership between NATO and Russia. And we are committed to working as 29 equal partners in the NATO-Russia Council to achieve that goal. With that, I am ready to take a couple of questions.
  • NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen meets with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey
Lavrov. The meeting took place at NATO HQ in Brussels.


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