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  Monday, October 21, 2019
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Sergei Lavrov and Jaap de Hoop Scheffer signed an agreement on the legal status of the armed forces of the bloc and parties to the Partnership for Peace program on the territory of each other
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and NATO secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer signed an agreement on the legal status of the armed forces of the bloc and parties to the Partnership for Peace program on the territory of each other. The agreement stipulates damage liability and regulates other aspects of temporary deployment of military groups (including during exercises) on foreign territory, said Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesman Alexander Yakovenko. "Russia is a member of the Partnership for Peace program," he recalled. "Moscow is highlighting cooperation in operational compatibility of Russian and NATO troops." Russia's accession to this agreement will "greatly facilitate joint peacekeeping and antiterrorist operations and military transit." The Russian diplomat said the document is "crucial for bilateral military cooperation" and "offers new possibilities for the implementation of the projects and programs of the NATO-Russia Council that could not be fully implemented without this legal base." We mean "peacekeeping exercises, training for antiterrorist operations and emergencies," Yakovenko explained. The document should be ratified. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the agreement would become a major element in the joint struggle against common threats. Russia’s accession to it will open up new crucial vistas in the joint struggle against common threats and challenges, the NATO secretary general said. He believes that the signing of the agreement underlines Russia’s role in the political dialogue with the NATO countries. We will openly discuss all issues, maintain dialogue and use all available possibilities to combat new threats, the secretary general stressed.
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