NATO Grows and Russia Is Increasingly Surrounded

With the announcement of the possible inclusion of Sweden and Finland in NATO, Russia is increasingly surrounded.

NATO members during a summit

Photo: TW-NATOpress

LatinaAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: Crece la OTAN y Rusia está cada vez más rodeada

Recently, both the Swedish and Finnish governments officially announced their desire to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This military integration group has a single and primary intention: to serve as a deterrent against Russia's expansionist interests. In this way, Russia is increasingly surrounded by not only NATO members, but also non-friendly countries. If nothing unforeseen happens, and if Turkey does not veto the new income, the Alliance will grow and the threat at the gates of Moscow and Saint Petersburg will be more and more evident.

The allies of the Atlantic Alliance will be able to share a greater extension of direct protection against Russia after Finland's accession to NATO, thus ensuring one of the longest borders in the Russian West, joining Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Additionally, Kaliningrad, that small Russian bastion in the Baltic Sea, also shares a border with Poland and Lithuania itself, both countries are also members of the North Atlantic Alliance.

Russia also shares another border to the south with NATO: on the Black Sea with Turkey. Despite the fact that today it is governed by a partner like Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turks are part of NATO and it is one of the places where the United States has the largest military presence. On the other end, is the always remembered border of the Bering Sea with the United States. But it is also a few kilometers from Japan (US military ally) and superpower China. Although you might think that this is one of the least threatened borders today, the Chinese superpower can never be ignored.

In the Caucasus, Georgia and almost neighboring Armenia also represent a hostile border. Although none is part of a military alliance, they can be countries close to Europe or the United States. The only safe zone that Russia shares in the territory are the former Soviet republics in Central Asia, especially Kazakhstan.

If we add the current border with Ukraine, with which it maintains an active war conflict, it is shown that Russia is indeed increasingly surrounded. It could also be considered as the disadvantage of being the largest country in the world and with the most borders.

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This can be interpreted in such a way that the superpower can feel cornered and we already know that animals are more dangerous when they feel threatened and surrounded. This is why, now, both NATO and the entire international community must be smart when dealing with the largest nuclear power.

Putin Doesn't Get Away with His Plans

The main excuse that Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, announced to invade Ukraine was the possible inclusion of the European country in the European Union and NATO. This measure would represent the loss of influence in one of the republics that have historically been most closely linked to Russia.

Many analysts ruled out a Ukraine annexation to NATO, thinking that there was no risk of a Russian invasion and that this would simply represent a provocation. Well, time did not prove these analysts right.

Additionally, despite what Putin calculated, the Russians did not arrive as a victorious army in Kiev. On the contrary, they have found a strong defense and a growing anti-Russian sentiment.

Now, as a direct consequence of the failed Russian calculation, Finland (historically reluctant to join NATO) and Sweden will be able to expressly enter the group that Russia sees as its greatest threat. Now, not only did he completely lose a possible ally like Ukraine, but he also ended up alienating any other country that thought that by remaining neutral, it was going to avoid a Russian invasion.

History Warns of the Current Scenario

When we see a highly connected European panorama between military alliances, it is impossible not to think of the world panorama of 1914. A European international system based on imperial alliances that maintained relative peace. The union between France, England, and Russia was intended to dissuade the expansionist intentions of Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire.

However, it was precisely this system of alliances that ended up causing the first Great War. A local incident between Austria-Hungary and Serbia (an ally of Russia) ended up triggering a confrontation between the two sides.

Today, likewise, there is a military system and alliance that discourages both sides from attacking. But, the more members, the more links in the chain that could end up straining relations to levels not desired by humanity.