The latest Russian National Security Strategy paper, newly revised because of the regime change in Ukraine two years ago, has been released and signed by President Vladimir Putin. Though Ukraine is obviously a big change, the focus as ever is on NATO.
The strategy paper sees NATO as taking “counter-action” against Russian attempts to maintain an independent domestic and foreign policy, and sees NATO’s continued eastward expansion as turning it into a growing “external threat” to the Russian Federation.
NATO’s recent expansion has centered around the Balkans, with Albania and Croatia both joining in 2009. Russia’s bigger concerns are efforts by former Soviet states Georgia and Ukraine to seek membership status, which would add greatly to the common border between Russia and NATO member nations.
Growing animosity centering on Ukraine has had NATO predicting an imminent Russian invasion of Eastern Europe, and dramatically increasing their military presence along the Russian frontier. Though presented as “defensive” deployments, with NATO members openly talking about a war with Russia this escalation is being treated as a growing threat.