NATO's eastward expansion is not a serious challenge for Moscow, believes Director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Research Yevgeny Kozhokin. The main factor urging East European states to join the North Atlantic Alliance is the still remaining prejudice about "possible threats from Russia", said the prominent Russian political expert at a press conference in RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
These countries are guided by "historic memories and myths about Russia" in their policy "and part of this mythology will be definitely brought into the NATO structures," he said.
Yet "the expansion will for a certain period secure the NATO survival as a bureaucratic organisation," the expert pointed out.
When speaking on the current modernization of NATO's structures, Kozhokin stressed that the Alliance was changing very slowly and that was one of the reasons why it was not able "to adequately reply to the security challenges Europe is facing." The expert also noted the recent trend when the USA left behind NATO, referring to the US activities in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan as an example. In critical situations Washington "prefers to act on its own", and in the near future "it will reconsider its attitude towards NATO not in words, but in practice," Kozhokin believes.