- - Thursday, December 31, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a document this week which updates Russia’s national security posture and declares the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) a threat to Russia’s national security. The document states that NATO’s expansion and the approach of Russia’s borders is justification for this new defense strategy, according the Russian state news agency, TASS.

“The buildup of the military potential of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and vesting it with global functions implemented in violations of norms of international law, boosting military activity of the bloc’s countries, further expansion of the alliance, the approach of its military infrastructure to Russian borders create a threat to the national security,” the document says.

Mr. Putin added in a statement that he feels that Russia’s independent policy making is what drives NATO to feel the need for expansion. He added, “Russia’s strengthening is taking part on the background of new threats to national security that have a complicated and interlinked character. The independent domestic and foreign policy conducted by Russia triggers counteraction from the US and their allies seeking to keep up their domination in global affairs.”

This move has been expected for some time and is just a formality. However, it is also another step in a series of defense moves by Russia which have threatened its neighbors in Eastern Europe and the Baltics. Montenegro is the latest former Soviet bloc country to join the alliance and the move has angered the Kremlin. NATO has also made a very public move to increase its troop and equipment presence in Poland and the Baltic nations in order to deter perceived Russian aggression.

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