MOSCOW, May 15 (RIA Novosti) – NATO has never proposed that Russia become a member of the alliance, according to a new report by the NATO Defense College Research Division.
“To be sure, proposals to bring Russian into NATO were part and parcel of the enlargement debate throughout the 1990s. Those who advocated such an approach argues that only the possibility of Russia’s eventual accession could prevent NATO enlargement from isolating Russia and from a new Cold War,” the report published Wednesday said.
“Despite their inherent logic, however, these proposals were too sweeping to take fully into account the difficulties of the task,” the report added.
In the post-Cold War era, NATO saw a 75 percent increase in membership – from 16 to 28 members. The twelve new members were all in the Eastern Europe, either former Warsaw Pact member states, including three former Soviet republics, or former Yugoslav federal republics.
Relations between Russia and NATO soured after Crimea rejoined Russia in March. NATO is reportedly considering permanently stationing troops in parts of Eastern Europe as tensions over Ukraine are on the rise.
The move has come as another sign that the alliance was tightening its grip on Eastern Europe where it is already running air-policing and surveillance missions over Poland, Romania and the three Baltic countries.