NATO–Russia Relations: The Return of the Enemy

NATO–Russia Relations: The Return of the Enemy

Written on 04/04/2019


Even after a political rapprochement between Russia and NATO, Moscow saw the Alliance in terms of a hostile institution and expressed marginal interest in promoting greater cooperation within its structures. Endeavors to bring Russia and NATO closer, while deepening their mutual ties, were aimed at boosting the Kremlin’s influence on the Alliance’s activities.



  • For most of the post-Cold War period, Russia did not avoid cooperating with the North Atlantic Alliance, seeking instead to make NATO change its hitherto character from a military bloc to a typically political alliance.
  • For over two decades, NATO had been committed to holding a dialogue with Russia while establishing partnership relations with its authorities. This dramatically changed in 2014 when NATO suspended all practical cooperation with Russia yet keeping political and military channels of communication open. The Alliance is presently ready to enter a dialogue with Russia, however expanding its containment and deterrence potential.
  • Over the past five years, tensions have mounted between Russia and NATO, bringing a risk of the most serious direct armed conflict for the first time in decades. Still, such a scenario is unlikely to materialize in the short run.


Photo source: NATO.INT

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