GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Important International institutions.
Russia has warned Finland and Sweden against joining NATO, arguing that the move would not bring stability to Europe.
- Russia has said that if Sweden and Finland join NATO then it would have to strengthen its land, naval and air forces in the Baltic Sea.
- Russia also raised the nuclear threat by saying that it would deploy nuclear weapon near Sweden and Finland if they join NATO.
What does Russia want?
Tensions between Russia and the West have been building ever since Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea and started his war in Ukraine.
- In response, NATO sent reinforcements to countries seen as vulnerable to Russian aggression.
- Essentially, Russia now wants guarantees that NATO will halt its eastward expansion, rule out membership for Ukraine and other former Soviet countries, and roll back its military deployments in Central and Eastern Europe.
What is the source of Russia’s dispute with NATO?
- Russian leaders have long been wary of the eastward expansion of NATO, particularly as the alliance opened its doors to former Warsaw Pact states and ex-Soviet republics in the late 1990s (the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland) and early 2000s (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia).
- Their fears grew in the late 2000s as the alliance stated its intent to admit Georgia and Ukraine at an unspecified point in the future.
What is Russia demanding of NATO and the United States today?
Russia has put forth two draft agreements that seek explicit, legally binding security guarantees from the United States and NATO, respectively:
- The draft calls for NATO to end its eastward expansion, specifically, deny future membership to ex-Soviet states, such as Ukraine. It would also ban the United States from establishing bases in or cooperating militarily with former Soviet states.
- It would block both signatories from deploying military assets in areas outside their national borders that “could be perceived by the other party as a threat to its national security.”
But, why is Russia worried about NATO?
Russia has demanded that NATO guarantees Ukraine will never join the alliance.
- Russia believes that NATO is “encircling” Russia and posing a threat.
- It is also said that NATO missile defence threatens Russian security.
- Above all, NATO is believed to be a U.S. geopolitical project and has always tried to isolate or marginalise Russia.
About North Atlantic Treaty Organization:
It is an intergovernmental military alliance.
Established by Washington treaty.
Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.
Headquarters — Brussels, Belgium.
Headquarters of Allied Command Operations — Mons, Belgium.
It constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 30. The most recent member state to be added to NATO was North Macedonia on 27 March 2020.
NATO membership is open to “any other European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area.”
Political – NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defence and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.
Military – NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military power to undertake crisis-management operations. These are carried out under the collective defence clause of NATO’s founding treaty – Article 5 of the Washington Treaty or under a United Nations mandate, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international organisations.
- NATO- genesis and headquarters.
- What is NATO Allied Command Operations?
- Who can become members of NATO?
- Overview of the Washington Treaty.
- Countries surrounding the North Atlantic Ocean.
- Latest NATO member.
Discuss the objectives and significance of NATO.
Sources: the Hindu.