The EU and NATO are facing an increasingly uncertain and complex situation on their eastern and south-eastern borders. In what the EU has traditionally conceived as its ‘shared neighbourhood’ with Russia and NATO its ‘eastern flank’, Moscow is exhibiting a growingly assertive military posture. The context of the Baltic and the Black Sea regions differs, but Russia’s actions in both seem to be part of the same strategy aiming to transform the European security order and its sustaining principles. The Kremlin seems to follow similar policies and tactics, mainly through the militarisation of the Kaliningrad Oblast and Crimea as the centrepiece of its strategy of power projection vis-à-vis NATO and the EU. An all-out war remains an unlikely scenario, but frictions or accidents leading to an unwanted and uncontrolled escalation cannot be completely ruled out. Tensions and military developments take place in both the Baltic and Black seas, but are not only about them. Russia is testing the Euro-Atlantic response and resilience at large. To assess how far it might be willing to go, it is necessary to evaluate how Russia perceives the West and its actions, taking into account the deep and entrenched clash of perceptions between Brussels and Moscow, and the worldview of the latter.
ISBN: 978-92-846-2198-9 (pdf)