chapter  8
14 Pages

NATO and Russia

Spiral of distrust
ByJulie Wilhelmsen, Jakub Godzimirski

This chapter examines how NATO's recent preoccupation with deterrence has been received by Russia and what consequences this may have for future relations between the two actors. It seeks to examine the sources of Russian reactions to NATO's deterrence efforts, emphasizing that Russia's rejection of the West has been long in the making. The chapter argues that it is unlikely that this pattern can be broken in the current situation characterized by very high levels of distrust. From 2014 onward, disengagement and deterrence policies materialized swiftly, on both sides and across the military and geographic spectrum. On the Russian side, the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea was immediately strengthened, with reference to 'NATOs build-up of forces in the Eastern Europe and the Black Sea'. In Russia, the main concern of the leadership, apart from deterring NATO, has been to reassure the audiences at home that this time Russia will not stand down in the face of 'the Western threat'.