From the Washington Times: “There are signs of Russian efforts to divide the West and prevent what they see as undue American influence,” said Philip H. Gordon, assistant secretary of state for European affairs.

Alexander Vershbow, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, agreed, saying the Russians are “seeking to create divisions between the U.S. and its allies, particularly the new NATO members.” At the same time, they are “realistic” about the alliance’s security guarantees that extend to those members, he added.

Both officials said that Moscow recently tried to “downgrade” NATO by proposing a new security treaty in Europe, which was rejected by most European countries at a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in June.

The Washington Post provided an additional statement from this Congressional hearing that identifies a dangerous problem with increasing Russian involvement in European security issues.

“The predominant view in Russia is that they’re better off dominating their neighbors, even if that means instability than accepting the choices of those neighbors — unfortunately,” Gordon said.