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Thursday, February 17, 2000, updated at 09:54(GMT+8)
World Russia, NATO Vow Joint Efforts to Build Stable Europe

Russia and NATO vowed Wednesday to join their forces to "build a stable Europe" in a joint statement released at the end of the NATO Secretary General George Robertson's one-day working visit in Moscow.

Russia and the Atlantic alliance are "fully determined to contribute to building a stable and undivided Europe, whole and free, to the benefit of all its peoples," says the statement.

The NATO and Russia "affirm that they will observe in good faith their obligations under international law, including the United Nations Charter, provisions and principles contained in the Helsinki Final Act and the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) Charter for European Security," it stressed.

NATO and Russia "will promote the strengthening of security in the Euro-Atlantic area on the basis of the Founding Act and through cooperation within the Permanent Joint Council," the statement reads.

"NATO and Russia will work to intensify their dialogue in the Permanent Joint Council. They agreed to pursue a vigorous dialogue on a wide range of security issues that will enable the two sides to address the challenges ahead and to make their mutual cooperation a cornerstone of European security," it concludes.

The document came after talks here between Robertson and Russia's acting President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev.

The NATO chief wound up his ice-breaking trip to Russia Wednesday evening.

Angered by NATO's eastward enlargement, Moscow froze relations with the West last March when the Atlantic alliance launched an 11-week bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. Their ties got worse because of the alliance's severe scolding of Russia's anti-terrorist military operation in its breakaway province of Chechnya, which began to rage in last September.

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