Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 10/2014

NATO Enlargement and Russia: Die-Hard Myths and Real Dilemmas

Michael RÜHLE

May 2014

NATO Defense College


The crisis in Ukraine, which culminated in Russia's annexation of the Crimea, marks a new low in NATO-Russia relations. While this relationship had been deteriorating for quite some time, Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis revealed a geopolitical agenda that caught many observers by surprise. In the course of just a few weeks Russia clearly emerged as a revisionist power, behaving in a manner reminiscent of the "predatory nation-states from the 19th century" and changing borders by force in order to deny a neighbouring country the choice to determine its own alignments.