NATO and Russia have reached a historic agreement to combat common security threats in the post-September 11 era.
The deal, establishing a joint council of the 19 NATO nations and Russia, was announced by NATO foreign ministers after meeting with their Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov.
NATO Secretary-General George Robertson announced the deal.
He said: "It is impossible to overstate the importance of this recognition, that NATO and Russia must stand side by side in defence of common values and interests in the face of the challenges of the new century."
With the pact arising from Russian President Vladimir Putin's support for the West since the September 11 terror attacks, Russia took another significant step toward its former enemies, after agreeing Monday with Washington to shrink their nuclear arsenals
Capping an ambitious reform agenda to prepare for a summit in Prague in November, the ministers reviewed the alliance's plans to invite new members from eastern Europe, agreed to modernize NATO's military capabilities to respond to evolving threats and establish new relations with Ukraine and other former Soviet republics.