The NATO PA initiated first contacts with parliamentarians from the former Soviet Union even before the end of the Cold War, and the Supreme Soviet was granted the newly created status of associate member in 1990. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federal Assembly became an associate member of the NATO PA. When the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Co-operation and Security between the Russian Federation and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was signed in 1997, it explicitly called upon the Assembly to expand even further its dialogue and co-operation with the Russian Parliament. As a result, in 1998, the NATO PA and the Russian Federal Assembly created a Joint Monitoring Group to monitor the implementation of the NATO-Russia Founding Act as well as the workings of the Permanent Joint Council (PJC) and its subordinate groups.
The creation of the Joint Monitoring Group thus provided a vital means to ensure transparency of the Permanent Joint Council and helped focus in a positive manner the burgeoning dialogue between NATO and Russian parliamentarians.
Following the creation of the NATO-Russia Council in May 2002, the Assembly and the Russian delegation agreed that this structure should be reflected at the parliamentary level. They therefore created the NATO-Russia parliamentary Committee (NRPC) This group, which met for the first time in November 2002 brought together the leaders of the 28 NATO member delegations and the leaders of the Russian Federal Assembly delegation in a format "at 29". Chaired by the Assembly's President, this body oversaw the relationship between the Assembly and the Russian Federal Assembly and held substantive discussions on relevant issues of common interest.
The relationship between the NATO PA and the Russian Federal Assembly was not confined to the NATO-Russia parliamentary Committee, however. Until 2014, the Russian Federal Assembly had the status of an Associate Member delegation within the NATO PA. Its 10 person delegation participated in the Assembly's two Sessions each year, as well as in many Assembly Committee and Sub-Committee meetings, and seminars.
Russia’s military intervention in Georgia in August 2008 and its recognition of Georgia’s provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent led to serious strains in the Assembly’s relations with the Russian Parliament, and the adoption of a range of restrictions to the Russian delegation’s participation in NATO PA activities, many of which were later lifted.
Following Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and its illegal annexation of Ukraine’s province of Crimea in March 2014, the NATO PA withdrew Russia’s Associate Membership of the Assembly altogether, thus breaking off regular institutional relations with the Russian Parliament. The NATO PA’s Bureau has been mandated to keep the situation under review, however, and meet representatives of the Russian Parliament on an ad hoc basis if appropriate.
NATO Parliamentary Assembly