Russia and NATO

In 2014, on the eve of Russia’s original (this century) invasion of Ukraine, the support for Ukraine joining the NATO was in single digits. Obviously, it increased as a result of the invasion.

Hence, saying that Russia invaded Ukraine to prevent it from joining the NATO is stupid.

Putin uses the existence of the NATO as an excuse to invade. Where NATO doesn’t exist, he invades anyway (see Central Africa, Syria, etc). The appetite for invasion exists independently from the NATO. If the NATO disbands today (which I support), that would have no impact on Russia’s desire to invade Ukraine, Georgia, African countries, etc.

The idea that Russia invades XYZ because he’s worried that the NATO will come close to Russia’s borders was concocted in the 1990s in the US. It was ludicrous then and it remains so today.

11 thoughts on “Russia and NATO

  1. Like any appealing falsehood, though, it has a grain of truth. He’s interested in strategic locations, NATO is just one of many reasons why a Russian leader would be interested in a location of geopolitical significance. If tomorrow Putin died and NATO disbanded, whoever led Russia would still be interested in the steppes of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and other significant locales. If the ethnic compositions or socioeconomic circumstances of those places changed drastically, well, maybe the person running Russia’s territory would care slightly more or slightly less about particular locales, but it’s not like territories bordering the Black sea would become irrelevant.


  2. Regarding China, in comments to a recent post you said it does what Russia wants. Why? If it is because Russia sells its lands, Russia would continue to do it anyway. I read the opposite take from Latynina that China told Russians to take away its soldiers and sent it ‘with egg on the face’ just in time before NATO meeting.

    Didn’t know that China wishes to affect Israel too:

    Chinese Itzik Comes to Haifa
    Beijing’s courtship of Israel has been canny and effective

    What I liked was the quote towards the end :

    // “We are here for business,” he said, “and the businessmen want peace.” The way he said it, “peace” didn’t sound like a fluffy Western dream. It sounded as blunt and necessary as an iron pipe. //

    🙂 🙂

    That’s the willpower one would love to see in the West.


  3. NATO is the only military force keeping Putin out of Poland, the Baltic states, and other parts of Eastern Europe that he would love to bring back under Russian domination.

    Disbanding it would be unthinkable.


      1. “Is NATO going to go to war against Russia over Latvia?”

        There’s no chance that Russia will attack Latvia because YES, NATO as a multinational force would be obligated to use military force to defend Latvia. NATO membership has effectively put Latvia out of Putin’s reach.

        The same would be true of Ukraine if it were a member of NATO.

        (Since Ukraine isn’t a member, I don’t know what Biden thinks he’s accomplishing by suddenly considering moving thousands of U.S. troops to NATO countries in Eastern Europe. These troops definitely WON’T go to war if Putin moves against Ukraine.)


        1. “Since Ukraine isn’t a member, I don’t know what Biden thinks he’s accomplishing by suddenly considering moving thousands of U.S. troops to NATO countries in Eastern Europe. These troops definitely WON’T go to war if Putin moves against Ukraine.”

          Russia has moved mechanized units to Brest, Belarus. This is just a stone throw away from Poland, which is a NATO member.
          I think Putin is definitely testing NATO’s resolve here. He is trying to see how far he can go before he gets a strong reaction. During the Crimea crisis, nothing was done other than some sanctions and angry statements. This was basically a green light to go ahead and take the whole peninsula. If he gets the same response now, he would be stupid not to go for Ukraine and try to cripple it permanently.


      2. Other than weapons and equipment, what else can other countries do to support Ukraine or at least deter Russian aggression?

        I’m also puzzled about Germany’s position here. They seem very complacent here, are they just really afraid of war? Or do they have some special relation with Russia?


        1. Germans have (or at least had, prior to the Russian invasion; they subsequently agreed to make Ukraine a candidate country for the EU and to cancel Nord Stream 2) a Russian dick in their ass and perhaps a lingering fear of Russia due to World War II.

          Liked by 1 person

      3. NATO is a huge deterrent here. Not striking back would be the end of NATO and to an extend the European Union. The political cost of not doing anything in this scenario would be enormous for the rest of Europe.

        Besides, other Baltic states and Poland would definitely be directly threatened and would have to get involved.


        1. Yeah, NATO’s credibility would take a severe, possibly irreversible or at least near-irreversible, hit if Russia invaded the Baltic countries and NATO just sat there and did nothing.

          If you have a leadership in Washington, DC or whatever that wants to destroy the NATO alliance (like Trump apparently wanted to do had he actually won a second term), then destroying NATO’s credibility might be perceived as being a good thing, but otherwise it would be highly desirable to avoid this outcome.


      4. “Is NATO going to go to war against Russia over Latvia?”

        Yes, I suspect so. Else NATO’s credibility would become fatally weakened.

        “Nor should it, in my opinion.”

        Due to the risk of nuclear war with Russia? Or simply because the Baltics aren’t worth defending?


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