Policy Memos

Russia's Relations with NATO: Lessons from the History of the Entente Cordiale

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As NATO contemplates the second wave of enlargement, many wonder what the Russian response might be. The experience of 1996-98 might suggest an optimistic scenario: the first wave was met with harsh words and threats, but the actual response was mild. Russia signed the Founding Act, largely on Western terms, and has entered a cooperative relationship with NATO. For Russia, historical memory reaches back further, and offers other precedents with less promising scenarios. The emergence of the Entente Cordiale, the Russo-French-British alliance against Germany in the late 19th century, is one such precedent. Patterns of behavior change slowly, rendering a century-old experience contemporary validity. [...]

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About the author

Senior Fellow
Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non‑Proliferation