"NATO is dealing solely with imaginary threats to the transatlantic community, instead of dealing with real" challenges, he said. "The so-called Russian aggression is an imaginary threat. Russia does not pose a threat to any NATO member. Attempts to blame Russia for [the civil war] in Ukraine are an effort to create an artificial threat."
Sergei Mikhaylov, a senior researcher at the Centre for Euro-Atlantic and Defense Studies of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), offered a different explanation for the US and NATO invoking the so-called "threat" from Russia.
Washington views the alliance "as an instrument to maintain its dominance in Europe." Anti-Russian sentiment is meant to mask this, he told the daily.
Nevertheless, NATO has been persistent in its attempts to counter Moscow.
NATO has adopted several major measures aimed at responding to what it believes is Russia's "aggressive" behavior. These include a 5,000-strong high-readiness "Spearhead Force" to complement its Response Force (NRF), enhanced war-gaming, prepositioning military equipment and increased military spending.
In addition, the bloc plans to deploy four battle groups to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in 2017. They will stay in Eastern Europe and the Baltic region on a rotational basis. Mikhaylov referred to the latest initiative as "symbolic measure and an act of propaganda."
Moscow has been worried about NATO's increasing assertiveness in Europe and particularly on Russia's doorstep. According to Bures, it has reasons to be concerned.
If NATO continues with its current strategy, then "any attempts to improve the situation will become more remote," the Czech anti-war activist added, referring to the already strained relations between the bloc and Russia. "In the end, the Euro Atlantic territory will expand to Russia's borders, possibly leading to ever-escalating tensions in Europe."