Are Battlegroups Enough for European Security

Russian threat in Ukraine pushes NATO to deploy a new type of creation

7 February 2022

Marcin Zaborowski

Visegrad Insight Senior Fellow

Instead of withdrawing under Russian demands, the Alliance is installing a forward presence.

The current stand-off between Russia and Ukraine has broader ramifications and is about renegotiating the European order. The proposals submitted by Moscow clearly indicate that Russia wants a return to the spheres of influence in Europe and to push the boundaries of its direct control to include Ukraine, which Moscow does not consider a legitimate state. As of now, the West has been rejecting Russia’s demands for the indefinite end of NATO’s enlargement and for the rollback of NATO’s presence on the Alliance’s Eastern flank. 

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However, it is very likely that Russia submitted unrealistic demands to achieve concessions in other areas. It is an open secret that what Russia wanted since the end of the Cold War was to rebuild its influence in the former Soviet Republics and to maintain the strategic vulnerability of the nations between itself and Germany. Russia has never officially agreed with NATO’s enlargement to Central Europe, but it tolerated it on the premise that the mere fact of NATO’s membership would be devoid of strategic military implications. 

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Marcin Zaborowski

Visegrad Insight Senior Fellow

Senior Fellow at Visegrad Insight and Editor-in-Chief of Res Publica Nowa. Future of Security Programme Director at Globsec. Former director of the Polish Institute of International Affairs and CEPA Warsaw office.

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