14/6/2016. Russia’s top five myths about NATO
Myth 1: NATO is trying to encircle Russia.
Fact: This claim ignores the facts of geography. Russia’s land border is just over 20,000 kilometres long. Of that, 1,215 kilometres, or less than one-sixteenth, face current NATO members.
Claims that NATO is building bases around Russia are similarly groundless. Outside the territory of NATO nations, NATO only maintains a significant military presence in three places: Kosovo, Afghanistan, and at sea off the Horn of Africa. All three operations are carried out under United Nations mandate, and thus carry the approval of Russia, along with all other Security Council members.
Before Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine began, Russia provided logistical support to the Afghan mission, and cooperated directly with the counter-piracy operation, showing clearly that Russia viewed them as a benefit, not a threat.
NATO has partnership relationships with many countries in Europe and Asia, as can be seen from this interactive map. Such partnerships, which are requested by the partners in question, focus exclusively on issues agreed with them, such as disaster preparedness and relief, transparency, armed forces reform, and counter-terrorism. These partnerships cannot legitimately be considered a threat to Russia, or to any other country in the region, let alone an attempt at encirclement.
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