NATO Enlargement from the Russian Perspective.
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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At the July 1997 summit of NATO leaders in Madrid, with a leading role exercised by the United States, NATO decided to extend invitations for membership to three Central European countries Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Their official acceptance into the alliance is scheduled currently for 1999. Russia has diplomatically contested the enlargement of NATO since discussions concerning the issue began in 1992. There are many reasons for Russias concern and at times visceral opposition to NATO enlargement, and this paper will explore these reasons. After discussing the reasons for enlargement, the paper uses published papers, documents and speeches by leading Russian politicians, diplomats, academics and media representatives to explain why Russia thinks NATO is enlarging, and why they are opposed to it. The final section of the paper explores several remaining policy challenges for NATO and the West regarding enlargement. Among these are the accommodations NATO has made to Russia to ameliorate the latters concerns over the issue, specifically the Founding Act the issue of the Baltic states regarding eventual membership in NATO and Russias views on such an action and, geostrategic concerns with Ukraine and Belarus over the issue of enlargement. The paper concludes that the issue of NATO enlargement is replete with second and third order effects that will challenge NATO and United States policy-makers for several years to come.
- Government and Political Science