Evolution of Russia-NATO relations in the 1990s
Volkov, Valeriy G.
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The end of the Cold War was followed by a period of euphoric romanticism in Russia over its future relationship with Europe and the United States. Russians enthusiastically embraced the end of hostility and were looking forward to be accepted on equal terms in Europe. The situation changed when the country failed to utilize peace dividends and the economy suffered a serious breakdown. The Russian political elite expressed concerns that this policy was the Euro-Atlantic community's attempt to underscore the dimension of Russian humiliation and to further limit Russian influence in the international arena. Russia adamantly opposed NATO advancement to the territory of the former USSR; by exploiting this hard stance Moscow, indeed, provided NATO aspirants with arguments to join the Alliance. There is a tendency in Russia to view its relationship with NATO through the prism of the U.S. dominant role in the Alliance. This perception explains why Moscow tries to assert its position by focusing on a big power dialogue. Russian leaders attitudes toward NATO enlargement are strongly tied to their estimates of the strength of the country and their influence in the international arena.
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