State of Nato-russia Relations: Dynamics of Conflict and Cooperation

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1092 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Aug 14, 2023

Words: 1092|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Aug 14, 2023

In the words of former Commander of the 11th Armoured Calvary Division, Major General Jarslaw Mika when asked about NATO in Poland, 'It is important for Europe and for all the world'. He said 'It is for common cooperation, common training and all these things provide more security for all countries. You have to be prepared for a war, Yeah!', he added. 'You would like to avoid any war but you have to do a lot of training to be prepared' these was in Poland 2014 when the first NATO troops arrived to begin Operation Atlantic Resolve.

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The Expansion of NATO and Russian Aggressive Response to It

After the fall of the Iron Curtain which began in 1989, The Soviet Union lost its ability to control a number of states in Eastern Europe and to do whatever it wants without interference. Countries in Eastern Europe began joining NATO who set up base in the same countries. Russia criticised the move while they kept on saying that NATO is moving it's infrastructure closer to it's borders. The expansion of NATO into the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia as well as the proposed ascension of Georgia and Ukraine are among Russia's main claims to NATO's encroachment of its sphere of influence

In early March 2014, tensions increased between NATO and Russia as a result of the latter's strategy in Ukraine. NATO urged Russia to stop its actions and said it supported Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty. Russia sees it as a potential threat if Ukraine joins NATO and that is why Russia backed troops led an operation to seize part of the Ukrainian territory - Crimean peninsula.

NATO decided to deter this by setting up forces in the Suwalki gap at the border of Poland and Lithuania.This was to ensure that there is no cut off from the Baltic states which would be possible because Belarus, an ally of Russia shares it's borders south of Lithuania and south east of poland, while up in the north west of Lithuania and north of Poland lies the Russian millitary stronghold Kalinigrad. These borders could make it easy to prevent any military from accessing the Baltic states.

When the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was formed in 1975, it was decided that every country has the right 'to belong or not to belong to international organizations, to be or not to be a party to bilateral or multilateral treaties including the right to be or not to be a party to treaties of alliance'. All the OSCE member states, including Russia, have sworn to uphold those principles.

In 1990 allied heads of state strengthened their alliance as they stood by each other for four decades this includes a collective defence. Thirteen more countries have since joined NATO. The organisation respects the right of every country to choose its security arrangements this includes the right of allies to leave its organization. In line with those principals, Ukraine has the right to chose for itself whether it joins any treaty of alliance, including NATO's founding treaty. This means Russia has, by its own repeated agreement, no right to dictate that choice.

Exercises are usually conducted in foreign countries by NATO and it is done transparently and in line with international obligations. Russia is part of this agreement according to a document signed in Vienna where an exercise is subject to notification if it exceeds 9,000 personnel and observers presence if it exceeds 13,000 personnel. A good example of this demonstration is in 2016 where Russian millitary experts visited 13 allied exercises after being notified well in advance.

Russia on the other hand had gone ahead and did large snap exercises with tens of thousands of troops to intimidate it's neighbours. The establishment of three divisions in its Western Military and Southern Military Districts has caused concerns to NATO, since it raises tension and undermines trust i.e. Georgia 2008 and Crimea 2014. This includes Moldovia and all this without consent of these governments nor the UN Security Council. Another lack of transparency that brought concerns was the 2017 ZIPAD exercise where Russia exceeded what it had significantly announced in both the geographical scope and in numbers.

It is in order to note that compared to Kosovo, in Crimea there was no pre-existing crisis, no attempt to discuss the situation with the Ukrainian government, no involvement of the United Nations, and no attempt at a negotiated solution.

The above events have led to a changed security environment whereby host nations in eastern Europe have requested for NATO's presence. In 2016 and 2017 there was an 'enhanced forward presence' to the four Baltic states as battlegroups became operational working closely with the home defence forces in those states. The aim of this is to prevent conflict, protect allies, and preserve peace. These forces are rotational,defensive and proportionate. NATO enjoys public support because it's forces uphold the highest standards of conduct both on and off duty.

NATO allies made a pact in 1990 London summit that it was a state's sovereign choice to stay part of the organization and was fully in line with their right to collective defence under the United Nations Charter. 13 more countries later joined the alliance including the Baltic states.

Rather than being disbanded NATO has adopted new strategies adapting to changing realities, the organisation continues to change, live up to the needs and expectations of allies, and to promote their shared vision of Europe as a whole, free and at peace.

NATO's purpose therefore is to protect these countries in eastern europe as a result, military mobility is key in peacetime and to a collective defence during crisis. Together they also ensure infrastructure is available for transporting millitary equipment accross allies boders. This helps in updating miltary requirements for civilian infrastructure and not a preparation for war. This cooperation removes bureaucratic hurdles by sharing information on standards and requirements together with any challenges the national government and the private sector faces.

NATO as a defensive alliance, whose purpose is to protect member states, conducts exercises and military deployments not directed against Russia or any other country. Claims that NATO is preparing an attack on Russia are far fetched.

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Russia need to expand is as a matter of survival even as it continues to destabilise Eastern Ukraine and build up its presence from the Baltic sea to the Mediterranean. With a total military budget of 1 trillion, 17 times larger than Russia, NATO responds including deployment in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Not to provoke but to prevent a conflict and to preserve peace following the correct channels.

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Cite this Essay

State of NATO-Russia Relations: Dynamics of Conflict and Cooperation. (2023, August 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 13, 2024, from
“State of NATO-Russia Relations: Dynamics of Conflict and Cooperation.” GradesFixer, 14 Aug. 2023,
State of NATO-Russia Relations: Dynamics of Conflict and Cooperation. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 13 Jun. 2024].
State of NATO-Russia Relations: Dynamics of Conflict and Cooperation [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Aug 14 [cited 2024 Jun 13]. Available from:
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