NATO Enlargement: A Russian Perspective

Strategic Forum, July 1995 | Go to article overview

NATO Enlargement: A Russian Perspective


Seven Consequences of NATO Enlargement

ONE--Deepening of the gap between Russian and Western civilizations. Historically, this gap is the most important concern. As NATO enlargement reflects a consolidation of the Western (Romano- Germanic) world as a civilization, Russia's reaction could not help but reflect the consolidation of Russian civilization as distinct from the Western. Any eastward growth of NATO that would leave Russia outside the alliance would strike a severe, if not fatal, blow to Russian westernizers and greatly encourage their opponents. It could also cause the West to lose a unique opportunity to bring Russia closer to itself as a civilization which is the only way to solve the West's historical task of turning Russia into an ally, rather than an adversary.

Of course, this civilizational gap would be partly bridged by Russia's progress on the road to economic reforms and creation of a working market economy. But the decision of NATO to spread over the whole of Europe would leave Russia little choice but to assert itself as a force, not necessarily antagonistic but certainly different from the Western community.

TWO--An inward reorientation of Russia. Russia would consider its international role and national interests with less, not more, respect for the interests of Western countries. Although Russia has recently played by rules established by the West trying to find a role for itself within the international framework created by the West after the end of the Cold War NATO enlargement would cause it to become a more independent player, less constrained by a real or illusionary partnership with the West. In the absence of strong strategic ties with the Western alliance, Russia might well become a loose cannon in world politics. The effect of such a reorientation on the fragile post-Cold War international system could be very serious.

THREE--A rebirth of the Russian sphere of influence among the former states of the Soviet Union. If Russia considers itself geopolitically cut off from Europe and the Euro-Atlantic community, it would have no choice but to strengthen its historical sphere of influence. This would certainly mean closer economic and military cooperation with Belarus and Kazakhstan, cooperation that has already started. Although Ukraine would be more of a problem, here, too, Russia has three powerful levers especially its close ties between Russian and Ukrainian enterprises, Ukrainian dependence on Russian natural resources such as oil and gas, and the presence of 11 million native Russians on Ukrainian soil (more than 20 percent of the population of Ukraine). One might even argue that NATO enlargement would seriously limit Ukraine's freedom of maneuver in foreign policy. Therefore, it would adversely affect the geopolitical pluralism among the territories of the former USSR.

FOUR--A weakening of overall European security. Although the West considers it a means of strengthening Western security, and of providing effective security guarantees for Central and Eastern Europe, enlargement could deliver a severe blow to European security as a whole. Eventually, NATO would have to consider the entry of the Baltic states and perhaps even Ukraine into the alliance. Russia's predictably negative reaction, including attempts to exert pressure on Ukraine to dissuade it from joining NATO, would certainly strain relations between Kiev and Moscow, thus creating conditions for new tensions between Russia and the West. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

NATO Enlargement: A Russian Perspective
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.