North Atlantic Alliance: Illusions and reality of the Russian threat

This post was published in Inosmi. The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.


PARIS, (BM) – The warning signals are apparent: “Russia is modernizing its nuclear arsenal and deploying new missile systems.” Or: “It is deploying new forces in our neighborhood, from the High North to Syria and Libya.” Ahead of the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recalled the organisation’s key role. For his part, US Permanent Representative to NATO Kay Hutchison described Russia as an “unfriendly” force and made an obvious statement.

According to her, the alliance must make sure that it has good enough protection to ensure that Russia would not influence it. Hutchison talks about the balance as a whole, as well as about each NATO member. As speculation about the alliance’s future continues, the enemy it has identified remains the same as in Soviet times.

For several years now, Russia has been actively compensating for its military backlog, causing severe concern at the NATO headquarters. “Russia is returning with a new generation of high-performance nuclear submarines,” NATO Chief of Staff Pierre Vandier said in October. He also added that the Russian Federation does not regularly show its military power, especially in the eastern Mediterranean. According to Vandier, Russia is making serious strides and new investments in the Tartus naval base and its positions in the Arctic.

In the air, the situation is identical, whether it is on Europe’s borders, regularly flying Russian planes, or outside the Earth’s atmosphere. In October this year, Philip Lavigne, the alliance’s chief of the Air Force, said Russia had launched and deployed two reconnaissance satellites, which the military expert said were just 10 meters apart. The alliance’s aerospace forces have been observing this “Russian phenomenon” for several weeks. He thus expressed his concern about the possible offensive and reconnaissance capabilities of these two satellites.

In a report presented to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, French Senator Cedric Perrin provides an almost complete overview of the Russian military arsenal. In addition to space capabilities, the ultra-high-speed and hard-to-intercept nuclear-powered missiles and missiles that makeup Russia’s “invincible weapon” suite, Moscow has also significantly increased its “electronic warfare” capabilities as a “means of neutralizing the alliance’s superiority” in surveillance and intelligence. Special attention paid to the report of the Moscow-1 complex, which has a severe range of at least 400 km, and the Borisoglebsk-2 complex, which according to experts, is entirely possible and most likely capable of interfering with other mobile communication and navigation satellites devices.

Struggle for influence

The report does not fail to note that back in 2008, Russia decided and began the large-scale modernization of its military forces and weapons systems. According to analysts in the report, this phenomenon is dictated by “Russia’s vision of threat and vital interests. Moscow allocates financial resources secretly. According to the report, Russia’s military budget, which is severely understated, amounts to about $ 200 billion a year if “hidden and non-transparent expenditures” are taken into account. This information strongly contradicts the Russian Federation’s official dissemination, which continues to claim that the country’s military budget is only 60 billion US dollars.

However, according to military analysts and economists, the fall of Kovid-19 this year could severely reduce Russia’s military budget and lead to financial consequences. If Russia’s budget is designed for ten years and amounts to 626 billion dollars, then the funding for such a program by the end of this decade, which has already been determined, should amount to 325 billion dollars.

“We need to realize the effectiveness of the Russian potential. But we need to be careful about true Russian intentions,” said Senator Cedric Perrin in the final part of his report, which, by his admission, was the fruit of a struggle for influence between opponents of Moscow and supporters of a more open approach. “Anti-Russian paranoia is often deliberately supported by the United States. We need to keep talking to the Russians,” he says, advising not to succumb to the paralyzing obsession that interferes with other problems, such as the terrorist threat, China’s systemic rivalry, or Turkey’s ambitions.


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