Future of NATO-Russia Relations


The Ukrainian crisis became very serious test for the Russian-NATO relations. The history of modern relationship of Russia and NATO was always characterized by various dynamics, periods of rise and recession of activity of bilateral ties. While taking all latest events into consideration, it is harder to imagine that semi centennial opposition can be disappear so easily when more than a half citizens of Russia and NATO countries continue to consider each other as geopolitical enemies. The relations between the Russian Federation and NATO play a key role in global safety issues. [1]

    However current process significantly changed a global political context. So, first of all, NATO made the decision to stop civil and military cooperation with the Russian Federation due to the Ukrainian crisis. At the beginning of May it was declared that the Alliance considers Russia as the opponent against process in the Crimea. However just before the described events, in March, 2014, the Deputy NATO Secretary GeneralAlexander Vershbow declared that the alliance “would prefer to begin building strategic partnership between Russia and NATO”. [2]

    Thus, analysis of current status and perspectives of Russian-NATO relations became much more important.

     It should be noted influence of the changed global political context. Bipolarity conditions in which NATO was founded lost it concept in multipolar world. In this context fighting against modern threats of our world as terrorism, extremism, cybercrime and regional conflicts gained much more necessity. There is one important question: “Whether the current stage of strained relations between Russia and NATO is the beginning of long term confrontation?”

    It is vital to enumerate mutual dependence of both sides in cooperation of global security. So, for example, the Russian Federation according to the agreements reached in July, 2012 provided the airport in Ulyanovsk as transit base for loads for the British contingent in Afghanistan. [3]

    Besides, it should be noted also mutual interest of the sides in fight against threats of transnational terrorism. Russian warships carried out active interaction with the counterparts from NATO during the anti-terrorist operation “Active Endevour” in the Mediterranean Sea. [4]

    The effectiveness of Russia in the fight against terrorism has been specially emphasized in the annual report of US State Department, despite of increased tensions in the relations between these two countries. In particular, the role of the STANDEX project diverted to detection and neutralization of explosives substances. [5]

    In fact, on the European continent there is no adequate and effective military alternative to NATO forces yet. Besides, the former Soviet countries consider the cooperation with NATO as pledge and the guarantor of their own independence.

    The unilateral policy of NATO regarding missile system in the territories of former Soviet camp considered as attempt to prevent Russian influence. For dialogue and cooperation between Russia and NATO requires fulfill of the following conditions: closer interaction between the sides, increase of awareness on plans and interests both of sides.


External links:

1.     NATO-Russia Council. URL: http://www.nato-russia-council.info/en/

2.     CBS News. “Russia now an adversary, says NATO”. URL:http://www.cbsnews.com/news/russia-now-an-adversary-nato-official-says/

3.     NATO-Russia Council: “Practical cooperation fact sheet”, October, 2013.

4.     Allied Command Operations: “Antiterrorism operations of NATO” URL:http://www.aco.nato.int/page142123533.aspx