British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in London today to discuss forging closer ties between NATO and Russia.
The two leaders said most NATO alliance members had backed the plan.
"The proposal...has achieved, I believe, broad acceptance. We can now enter in the detailed discussions on the working of the new NATO-Russia council," Mr Blair said.
"The Russia-NATO discussion will continue," Mr Putin added.
This is one of the few realistic possibilities to change the quality of Russian-NATO relationship.
Mr Blair began pushing for a step change in ties last month, writing a four-page letter to the NATO Secretary-General Mr George Robertson and all leaders of the 19-member alliance suggesting a new Russian-North Atlantic Council.
Earlier areas of cooperation are likely to include counter-terrorism and control of weapons of mass destruction.
Mr Putin said the mechanics of the new relationship would be established by May 2002. Russia is ready for such an agreement, he said.
Mr Blair also praised Russia's support for the military campaign in Afghanistan since the September 11th attacks.
He also pledged Britain would give strong support for Russian membership of the World Trade Organisation.