The first step will be the transfer of troops to the Black Sea and Baltic regions. Moscow is preparing to respond.
Moscow's relationship with NATO began with the end of the Cold War. There was even talk about the possible entry of Russia into full members of the organization. But they started small. In 1991 Russia became a member of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, and in 1997 this format was replaced by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. Real interaction began in 1994, when Russia joined the Partnership for Peace program; in the late 1990s, Russian military personnel took part in the alliance's peacekeeping missions in the Balkans. In 1997, the NATO-Russia Founding Act stated that the parties do not regard each other as adversaries and together will "build a lasting and comprehensive peace in the Euro-Atlantic region based on the principles of democracy and security". In 2002, Vladimir Putin signed the act establishing the Russia-NATO Council, making Moscow the alliance's most privileged non-member country.
Back in the late 1980s, in response to a question about what the Kremlin expects from NATO, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said: "For it to disappear!" Apparently, these words have retained their relevance for Russians today, says Le Figaro.
According to the French newspaper, the "tension" in relations between Moscow and NATO is permanent, and last week the Russian side decided to take a serious step from November 1, it suspends the work of its representative office in the alliance in Brussels. The mission of the North Atlantic bloc in Moscow, located on the territory of the Belgian embassy, will not work either.
The official pretext for this decision was NATO's withdrawal in early October of accreditation from eight Russian diplomats accused of being "secret agents of the special services." At the same time, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg accused Moscow of intensifying malicious actions in Europe.
“As a result of certain steps taken by NATO, joint work has become impossible”, - said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Any changes in the foreseeable future are "unlikely," the minister stressed.
According to Vladimir Batyuk, chief researcher at the Institute of the United States and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia's decision will not have serious consequences, since official relations between Russia and the alliance have long become extremely limited. Since 2014, when Crimea returned to Russia, NATO immediately significantly reduced communication with our mission. And on the line of the military, there were no contacts at all for a long time. In case of an emergency, NATO members can always contact the Russian ambassador to Belgium, the expert told Novye Izvestia.
In addition, a powerful channel remains for the discussion of military issues between the Chief of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov and the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff of the United States Michael Milli. They meet regularly in an informal setting and have a telephone communication channel. True, these are contacts on a bilateral basis.
The West itself adds fuel to the fire. "NATO pigeon", as Stoltenberg was recently called, calling the Black Sea region "strategically important for the alliance", said that he would not hurt and protect three member countries of the alliance - Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria from Russian aggression. “In the same region there are two of our important partners - Georgia and Ukraine”, - the NATO Secretary General noted.
Interestingly, the developed anti-Russian plan covers various scenarios, ranging from conventional military attacks and hybrid warfare to cyber attacks and media disinformation.
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said NATO should take "a very clear position on Russia's behavior and threats". She pointed out violations of the airspace over the Baltic countries and Russia's aggressive behavior in the Black Sea.
Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko warned NATO that "any further step towards Ukraine's membership in the alliance will have serious consequences".
“It should be borne in mind that along with the new“ plan of defense and deterrence”, the military ministers of the NATO countries also adopted a four-year plan for the development of military potential necessary for the implementation of the strategy,” said political scientist Sergey Kudryashov. - We are talking about air defense, cyber capabilities and reconnaissance. Defense ministers have also agreed to create a € 1 billion fund to support the development of technology critical to defense by private companies, especially in the IT sector.
"Future conflicts will not only be fought with bullets and bombs, but also with bytes and the Internet", - Stoltenberg said.
"So, are we going to fight?" - the journalists asked the NATO leader cautiously. The question remained unanswered.
“Such a tense situation in relations between Moscow and NATO is, perhaps, the first time since the Cold War,” said political scientist Vladimir Batyuk. - After the US and NATO left Afghanistan, it is very important to show their European allies their importance, their necessity. In my opinion, this does not mean at all that they are preparing for a big war with Russia. Of course, after the meeting in Brussels, NATO, as promised, may increase its presence in the Black Sea and Baltic regions. But, imagine that in the same Eastern Europe, NATO has only four ground battalions. This, apparently, is the limit that they can afford at present. Russia will have to react to any provocations. But in the age of nuclear missile weapons, no one will start a war with us", - the expert concluded.
"As for the new NATO strategy, which NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has already announced, there is one interesting aspect - the alliance is turning towards China. This means that the whole concept of NATO will change. Now this is not the North Atlantic Alliance, but a planetary military bloc! And all NATO members simply cannot physically control it".
According to the expert, in an interview with the British The Finantial Times, Stoltenberg made it clear that the NATO-Russia conflict would go on forever. Either by chance, or deliberately, he let slip that even if the West changes its attitude towards Russia, the countries of Eastern Europe will remain its opponents.
"It turns out that "the tail wags the dog." It turns out that the junior partners in NATO - the Poles and the Balts, who have their own phobias, their age-old complexes with regard to Moscow - determine the policy of the leading powers of the world. Are we going to be at enmity with the West, because the Poles and Lithuanians don't like us? If this is the case, then the conclusion suggests itself: it is pointless to conduct any dialogue with NATO, as an organization, as an institution. Russia will talk with those states that make up the backbone of NATO's military power - primarily with the United States. And there will be no war", - says Maxim Yusin.