Robertson in Russia
During a trip to Russia from 21 to 23 November, NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson met in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov and National Security Council President Vladimir Rushailo. Discussions focused on a package of proposals for more sub- stantive cooperation, particularly to combat terrorism.
On 20 and 21 November, the annual meeting of NATO’s Chiefs of Defence Staff (CHODs) took place at NATO. Following this meeting, the CHODs met separately with their counter- parts from Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council countries, Russia and Ukraine.
General Harald Kujat of the German Air Force was designated to take over from Admiral Guido Venturoni as Chairman of the Military Committee in June 2002 for a three-year term.
Towards normality Lord Robertson welcomed the peace- ful conduct of elections for a provi- sional assembly in Kosovo on 17 November as “a remarkable step for- ward towards normality” which would give all communities “the chance to build a truly democratic, multi-ethnic and prosperous society”.
Lord Robertson commended the par- liament of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* for passing 15 constitutional amendments on 16 November to provide for more equi- table treatment of minorities.
As part of his tour of aspiring NATO members, Lord Robertson visited Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 12 Novem-
FOCUS ON NATO
ber, where he discussed the country’s progress in meeting membership cri- teria with President Milan Kucan, Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek and Defence Minister Anton Grizold, as well as members of parliament.
Balkans trip Following the resumption of civil unrest in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,* Lord Robertson met government leaders in the capital Skopje, on 7 November, to push for progress on implement- ing promised internal reforms. He travelled to Pristina, Kosovo, the next day for meetings with UN Special Representative Hans Haekkerup and the KFOR Commander, General Marcel Valentin, to discuss prepara- tions for the elections for a new assembly planned for 17 November.
Bosnian Serb military headquarters during the Bosnian war.
At a meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 29 October, NATO’s Science Committee gave the go-ahead for the Virtual Silk Highway project to provide internet access via a satellite network for the scientific and academic communities of eight countries of Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus.
Nine NATO and 11 Partner countries took part in Cooperative Determination 2001 in Baku, Azerbaijan, between 5 and 16 November. This command post/com- puter assisted exercise, organised by Allied Forces Southern Europe, was aimed at improving military interop- erability for crisis response opera- tions.
Meeting at NATO on 5 and 6 November, the Conference of National Armaments Directors dis- cussed the reinforcement of NATO’s defence capabilities, further opportu- nities for defence cooperation with Partner countries, and the develop- ment of NATO’s theatre missile defence programme and Alliance Ground Surveillance. For the first time, Partner countries were invited to attend certain sessions.
Tour of capitals Lord Robertson, started his tour of the nine Partner countries aspiring to NATO membership with a visit to Bratislava, Slovakia, on 5 November. He met President Rudolf Schuster, Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda, Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan, Defence Minister Jozef Stank and Slovak parliamentarians.
Parliamentarians from NATO and Partner countries gathered in Bucharest, Romania, for a seminar on The role of NATO in the security of the Black Sea region, organised by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in cooperation with the Romanian Chamber of Deputies from 25 to 27 October.
An international conference, entitled Ten Years of Partnership and Cooperation, took place at NATO on 26 October to mark the tenth anniver- sary of the establishment of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council.
Some 2,500 personnel from 14 NATO and 13 Partner countries took part in Allied Effort 2001 in Wroclaw, Poland, from 5 to 20 November. The aim of the exercise, which was organ- ised by Allied Forces North, was to train the headquarters and compo- nent commands of a Combined Joint Task Force in the planning and con- duct of a peace-support operation.
Two illegal arms caches were dis- covered by SFOR troops on 29 and 30 October in Han Pijesak, a Serb- controlled village in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which served as a
Missile defence update NATO ambassadors were updated on US plans for a missile-defence shield on 25 October by senior US diplo- mats, who reported on the previous weekend’s discussions between the Russian and US presidents in
Shanghai, China, concerning the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty.
On 24 October, US Admiral Gregory G. Johnson took over from US Admiral James Ellis as Commander of Allied Forces Southern Europe, the regional command based in Naples, Italy, responsible for NATO-led peace- support operations in the Balkans.
Lord Robertson visited Lisbon, Portugal, on 24 and 25 October, where he met Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio, Prime Minister Antonio Guterres, Foreign Minister Jaime Gama and Defence Minister Rui Pena, and addressed a confer- ence on the future of transatlantic relations.
The eighth meeting of the North Atlantic Council and the European Union’s Political and Security Committee, which took place at NATO on 23 October 2001, focused on con- tributions to the international coalition against terrorism, the peace process in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* and progress made in establishing arrangements for EU- NATO cooperation.
The prime minister and former king of Bulgaria, Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha, met Lord Robertson at NATO on 22 October.