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Tuesday, 28 May, 2002, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
In quotes: Nato-Russia agreement
President Putin, President Bush and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
Nato leaders and the Russian president have been celebrating the establishment of the new Nato-Russia Council, a landmark agreement which allows Moscow to join the Alliance's decision-making process. Following are extracts from their speeches.


Nato Secretary General Lord Robertson:

"We, meeting here today, are a living contradiction of the forces which divided and weakened a continent for two generations. For everyone who despaired during the frozen stretches of the Cold War, this gathering represents a hope of a better, saner future.


Tell your officials to work together in the logic of common interest

"The 11 September 2001 brought death to thousands of people, in one act of terrible criminal violence. But it also brought a message to the leaders of the democratic world: 'Find solutions and find them together.'

"... we have created a new mechanism to facilitate the search for common ground and common understanding, to meet common challenges and to stop that common enemy.

"The success or the failure of this council will... be determined by you the leaders of the Nato countries and Russia, so I ask you to tell your officials to work together in the logic of common interest."


Russian President Vladimir Putin:

"I remember, more than half a century ago, humankind paying tens of millions of lives for the short-sightedness of politicians in the face of a common threat.

"Now we have a task which is comparable in historical scope. The threat is entirely different, it's true, and its forms and its manners are different, but that doesn't make it any less dangerous, and all international institutions are being tested for the adequacy of this new challenge"


US President George W Bush:

"Two former foes are now joined as partners, overcoming 50 years of division and a decade of uncertainty. And this partnership takes us closer to an even larger goal, a Europe that is whole, free and at peace for the first time in history.


It offers the world a prospect of a more hopeful century

"The new dangers of our age threaten all nations, including Russia. By working together against these threats we multiply our effectiveness.

"The Nato-Russia Council offers Russia a path towards forming an alliance with the alliance. It offers all our nations a way to strengthen our common security, and it offers the world a prospect of a more hopeful century."


Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi:

"Here we have the East and Europe who are getting married. And I believe that this marriage will be a fantastic marriage. As far as history is concerned and as far as the security of the world is concerned.


We can actually hope to be able to have a happier future for our children

"With what we are doing here today we are going to be able to guarantee a more secure, happier future. We are stronger. There aren't any people who are against one another and there is no longer this nightmare of nuclear arsenals.

"After all we are working with the Russian Federation and we can actually hope to be able to have a happier future for our children."


UK Prime Minister Tony Blair:

"This is indeed an important and historic event. It does give a sign of shared and common values in the place of misunderstanding and prejudice in the past.

"And it gives us a great opportunity but we have to make sure that with the words that we have spoken today and the declaration that we have made, that we follow it up with the action and make the partnership we want a reality."


French President Jacques Chirac:

"We welcome today this new step toward the emergence of a more united, more harmonious continent, in which Russia can play the role of a great nation which it has never ceased to be."


Czech President Vaclav Havel:

"It would be quite unfortunate if the partnership we have established today created the impression that the more affluent northern hemisphere is uniting at the expense of the southern hemisphere. One way or another, the whole planet should move towards unity."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
US President George W Bush
"It offers the world a prospect of more hopeful century"
Nato Secretary-General, Lord Robertson
"The catalyst of September 11 has driven East and West together"
See also:

28 May 02 | Europe
14 May 02 | In Depth
14 May 02 | In Depth
27 May 02 | Europe
15 May 02 | Country profiles
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