Vladimir Putin

Solana, His Excellency Dr. Javier

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A joint meeting of The Empire Club of Canada and The Atlantic Council of Canada. Today beginning the third phase of North America's involvement in European security. NATO over the last 10 years, adapting its structures and policies to take on this new role. 19 instead of 16 national flags flying at the new NATO in Washington. What this enlargement means in terms of stability and security. Canada's commitment to the principle by being the first NATO nation to ratify the accession protocols of the three invitees: the Czech Republic, the Republic of Hungary and the Republic of Poland. New measures designed to help aspirant countries meet NATO standards. Enhancing relations with all non-NATO countries across Europe. The new, positive relationship between NATO and Russia. Deepening the programme of practical co-operation. Canada's leading role within the Alliance in its relations with Ukraine. Security challenges to be faced; ensuring we are able to meet them. Adapting NATO's forces to be more flexible; carrying out conflict prevention and crisis management operations. Preparing a Summit initiative to improve NATO's response to the security challenge of weapons of mass destruction. A preview in the Balkans. NATO's role in the Kosovo crisis and what that demonstrates. Some examples of Canada's actions to keep peace. Why the transatlantic link remains so healthy, and so vital. North American and European allies working together to establish a democratic and prosperous Eastern Europe; to support the democratic transformation of Russia and Ukraine; help prevent and manage conflicts, and help combat proliferation. The Washington Summit and the Meeting of Defence Ministers in Toronto later this year as vivid symbols of the relationship.