From the European Council on Foreign Relations: Both the EU and NATO have exhausted their potential for “light” expansion. Both organizations have entered an area of open rivalry, where they will inevitably meet with opposition from Russia.

The situation is exacerbated by the fact that not a single country in the former Soviet Union, including Russia, can say for certain that its borders are historically justified, natural and, therefore, inviolable. Many of the states that have emerged in place of the former Soviet Union are weak and some may not ultimately be viable. In addition, there is a problem of dispersed nationalities, of which the Russians are the largest. This impedes nation-building in states with large Russian minorities and tempts Moscow to pursue a nationalist foreign policy.

Excerpt from Rethinking Security in “Greater Europe,” by Fyodor Lukyanov, in the new report, What Does Russia Think? (graphic: