NATO and Russia

Bridge-Building for the 21st Century Report of the Working Group on NATO-Russia Relations

by Robert E. Hunter, Sergey M. Rogov, Olga Oliker

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NATO and Russia are developing a new relationship as a critical part of integrating Russia into the West. The allies and Russia will meet together as equals in a NATO-Russia Council to consult, cooperate, and, in some critical areas, decide on common action. The authors of this report, with a wealth of academic and senior government experience in the United States and Russia, argue that action — what NATO and Russia actually do together — is more important than "architecture," that is, how the new Council is constructed and operates. Despite continuing differences (e.g., on NATO enlargement) the authors argue that NATO-Russian relations can and should be organized to promote greater stability, take into account other European states' interests, promote joint decisionmaking, and pursue a practical agenda of common tasks both in Europe and beyond. NATO and Russia should immediately begin modest "demonstration projects," using early successes to promote future cooperation. Efforts should be in areas where NATO and Russia have shared interests, including aspects of counterterrorism, emergency response, nonproliferation, peacekeeping (including doctrine and exercises), and military exchanges.

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND National Security Research Division.

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