Brent Scowcroft Center Distinguished Fellow Franklin D. Kramer cowrites for The Hill‘s Congress Blog on shaping a long-term Western strategy towards Russia:
As the Ukraine crisis continues, even after the successful presidential election, the immediate challenges obscure a less visible but even more important issue: what is the long-term strategy toward Russia?
The new realities exemplified by Ukraine demand a robust three-part approach. In dealing with Russia, the U.S., together with its allies, must enhance deterrence, reduce strategic economic dependency, and retain diplomatic cooperation when interests coincide. The desirable outcome is a Russia that will not use force or intimidation to generate geopolitical outcomes and will cooperate with the West on common interests.
First, since Putin has demonstrated his willingness to adjust European borders by force, NATO needs to deter Russia from further aggression. Russia’s annexation of Crimea completely ignored the 1994 agreement among the United States, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and Russia to “respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.” This, along with Russia’s actions in Georgia and cyber attacks in Estonia, has significantly changed the security landscape in Europe. The 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act envisioned a “current and foreseeable” stable geopolitical environment. That is quite different now and NATO nations no longer need to refrain from deploying troops to new members.