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Russia: NATO And Russia Hold First Joint Council Meeting

Brussels, 18 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - Representatives of NATO and the Russian government met in the first session of the new NATO-Russia Joint Council in Brussels today.

A joint NATO-Russian statement following the meeting said participants today adopted rules of procedure for the new body. They also agreed on work plans ahead of the first ministerial-level council meeting scheduled for September in New York.

The NATO-Russia Joint Council was created in May as part of NATO's efforts to reassure Moscow on the alliance's expansion and gives Moscow a voice, but not a vote, in NATO deliberations.

The session, originally set to begin yesterday, was delayed until today by disagreements over who would chair the first meeting. Our correspondent in Brussels reports that the dispute has been settled by establishing a three-way co-chairmanship comprising NATO Secretary General Javier Solano and the leaders of the Russian and NATO council delegations.