- In accordance with Article 10 of the Washington Treaty, NATO’s door will remain open to all European democracies which share the values of our Alliance, which are willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership, which are in a position to further the principles of the Treaty, and whose inclusion can contribute to security in the North Atlantic area. Based on these considerations, we will keep the progress of each of the partners that aspire to join the Alliance under active review, judging each on its own merits. We reaffirm our strong commitment to the Euro-Atlantic integration of the partners that aspire to join the Alliance in accordance with previous decisions taken at the Bucharest, Strasbourg-Kehl, and Lisbon Summits. We welcome progress made by these four partners and encourage them to continue to implement the necessary decisions and reforms to advance their Euro-Atlantic aspirations. For our part, we will continue to offer political and practical support to partners that aspire to join the Alliance. NATO’s enlargement has contributed substantially to the security of Allies; the prospect of further enlargement and the spirit of cooperative security continue to advance stability in Europe more broadly.
- At the 2008 Bucharest Summit we agreed that Georgia will become a member of NATO and we reaffirm all elements of that decision, as well as subsequent decisions. The NATO-Georgia Commission and Georgia’s Annual National Programme (ANP) have a central role in supervising the process set in hand at the Bucharest Summit. We welcome Georgia’s progress since the Bucharest Summit to meet its Euro-Atlantic aspirations through its reforms, implementation of its Annual National Programme, and active political engagement with the Alliance in the NATO-Georgia Commission. In that context, we have agreed to enhance Georgia’s connectivity with the Alliance, including by further strengthening our political dialogue, practical cooperation, and interoperability with Georgia. We continue to encourage and actively support Georgia's ongoing implementation of all necessary reforms, including democratic, electoral, and judicial reforms, as well as security and defence reforms. We stress the importance of conducting free, fair, and inclusive elections in 2012 and 2013. We appreciate Georgia’s substantial contribution, in particular as the second largest non-NATO troop contributing nation to ISAF, to Euro-Atlantic security.
- We reiterate our continued support to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders. We welcome Georgia’s full compliance with the EU-mediated cease-fire agreement and other unilateral measures to build confidence. We welcome Georgia’s commitment not to use force and call on Russia to reciprocate. We continue to call on Russia to reverse its recognition of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of Georgia as independent states. We encourage all participants in the Geneva talks to play a constructive role as well as to continue working closely with the OSCE, the UN, and the EU to pursue peaceful conflict resolution in the internationally-recognised territory of Georgia.
- Here in Chicago, our Foreign Ministers are meeting with their counterparts from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Georgia, in order to take stock of their individual progress, plan future cooperation, and exchange views with our partners, including on their participation in partnership activities and contributions to operations. We are grateful to these partners that aspire to NATO membership for the important contributions they are making to NATO-led operations, and which demonstrate their commitment to our shared security goals.
- An independent, sovereign and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security. Marking the fifteenth anniversary of the NATO-Ukraine Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, we welcome Ukraine’s commitment to enhancing political dialogue and interoperability with NATO, as well as its contributions to NATO-led operations and new offers made. We note the recent elimination of Ukraine’s highly enriched uranium in March 2012, which demonstrates a proven commitment to non-proliferation. Recalling our decisions in relation to Ukraine and our Open Door policy stated at the Bucharest and Lisbon Summits, NATO is ready to continue to develop its cooperation with Ukraine and assist with the implementation of reforms in the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Commission and the Annual National Programme (ANP). Noting the principles and commitments enshrined in the NATO-Ukraine Charter and the ANP, we are concerned by the selective application of justice and what appear to be politically motivated prosecutions, including of leading members of the opposition, and the conditions of their detention. We encourage Ukraine to address the existing shortcomings of its judicial system to ensure full compliance with the rule of law and the international agreements to which it is a party. We also encourage Ukraine to ensure free, fair and inclusive Parliamentary elections this autumn.
- NATO-Russia cooperation is of strategic importance as it contributes to creating a common space of peace, stability and security. We remain determined to build a lasting and inclusive peace, together with Russia, in the Euro-Atlantic area, based upon the goals, principles and commitments of the NATO-Russia Founding Act and the Rome Declaration. We want to see a true strategic partnership between NATO and Russia, and we will act accordingly with the expectation of reciprocity from Russia.
- This year, we mark the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) and the fifteenth anniversary of the NATO-Russia Founding Act. We welcome important progress in our cooperation with Russia over the years. At the same time, we differ on specific issues and there is a need to improve trust, reciprocal transparency, and predictability in order to realise the full potential of the NRC. In this context, we intend to raise with Russia in the NRC Allied concerns about Russia’s stated intentions regarding military deployments close to Alliance borders. Mindful of the goals, principles and commitments which underpin the NRC, and on this firm basis, we urge Russia to meet its commitments with respect to Georgia, as mediated by the EU on 12 August and 8 September 2008 3. We continue to be concerned by the build-up of Russia’s military presence on Georgia’s territory and continue to call on Russia to ensure free access for humanitarian assistance and international observers.
3. As complemented by the French President’s letter dated 16 August 2008 and subsequent correspondence on this issue.
- With our vision of a Euro-Atlantic area at peace, the persistence of protracted regional conflicts in South Caucasus and the Republic of Moldova continues to be a matter of great concern for the Alliance. We welcome the constructive approach in the renewed dialogue on Transnistria in the 5+2 format, and encourage further efforts by all actors involved. With respect to all these conflicts, we urge all parties to engage constructively and with reinforced political will in peaceful conflict resolution, and to respect the current negotiation formats. We call on them all to avoid steps that undermine regional security and stability. We remain committed in our support of the territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the Republic of Moldova, and will also continue to support efforts towards a peaceful settlement of these regional conflicts, based upon these principles and the norms of international law, the United Nations Charter, and the Helsinki Final Act.
- The Black Sea region continues to be important for Euro-Atlantic security. We welcome the progress in consolidating regional cooperation and ownership, through effective use of existing initiatives and mechanisms, in the spirit of transparency, complementarity and inclusiveness. We will continue to support, as appropriate, efforts based on regional priorities and dialogue and cooperation among the Black Sea states and with the Alliance.
- The Alliance remains prepared to engage with third states, on a case by case basis, to enhance transparency and confidence and to increase ballistic missile defence effectiveness. Given our shared security interests with Russia, we remain committed to cooperation on missile defence in the spirit of mutual trust and reciprocity, such as the recent NRC Theatre Missile Defence Exercise. Through ongoing efforts in the NATO-Russia Council, we seek to determine how independent NATO and Russian missile defence systems can work together to enhance European security. We look forward to establishing the proposed joint NATO-Russia Missile Data Fusion Centre and the joint Planning Operations Centre to cooperate on missile defence. We propose to develop a transparency regime based upon a regular exchange of information about the current respective missile defence capabilities of NATO and Russia. Such concrete missile defence cooperation is the best means to provide Russia with the assurances it seeks regarding NATO’s missile defence plans and capabilities. In this regard, we today reaffirm that the NATO missile defence in Europe will not undermine strategic stability. NATO missile defence is not directed against Russia and will not undermine Russia’s strategic deterrence capabilities. NATO missile defence is intended to defend against potential threats emanating from outside the Euro-Atlantic area. While regretting recurrent Russian statements on possible measures directed against NATO’s missile defence system, we welcome Russia's willingness to continue dialogue with the purpose of finding an agreement on the future framework for missile defence cooperation.
- We remain committed to conventional arms control. NATO CFE Allies recall that the decisions taken in November 2011 to cease implementing certain CFE obligations with regard to the Russian Federation are reversible, should the Russian Federation return to full implementation. NATO CFE Allies continue to implement fully their CFE obligations with respect to all other CFE States Parties. Allies are determined to preserve, strengthen and modernise the conventional arms control regime in Europe, based on key principles and commitments, and continue to explore ideas to this end.