HC Deb 19 May 2004 vol 421 cc1085-6W
Mr. David Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance has been given to Russia through the Individual Partnership Programme under NATO's Partnership for Peace Programme; what the results have been; whether he expects further assistance to be given to ensure democratic control of the armed forces in Russia; and if he will make a statement. [164649]

Mr. MacShane

I apologise for the late response which was due to an administration error.

Whilst Russia is a member of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the Partnership for Peace (PfP) initiative, it does not have an Individual Partnership Plan. It has a presence at the PfP's Partnership Co-ordination Cell, and participates in a small number of PfP exercises.

Russia also engages with NATO through the NATO-Russia Council (NRC), which was founded in 2002. NATO's role is not to assist Russia. Rather, the NRC is a forum to facilitate co-operation. The NRC's work plan addresses a broad defence reform agenda that strengthens democratic control of the armed forces. Other areas of joint work include: the struggle against terrorism; crisis management; non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; arms control and confidence-building measures; Theatre Missile Defence; search and rescue at sea; military-to-military co-operation; and civil emergencies.

Through the NRC's Ad Hoc Working Group on Defence Reform, NATO countries and Russia have come together in seminars and other events to share expertise with the aim of enhancing the performance of all involved. The coming year will see a broad range of work, including the development of measures to enhance transparency in defence planning.

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