Two weeks before the NATO summit in Madrid, scheduled for June 28-30, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg outlined the contours of a new strategy to contain Russia on the eastern flank, announcing the plans of Euro-Atlantic allies to increase the number of forward battle groups in each of the countries of Eastern Europe from battalion to brigade level.

As follows from the explanations of Jens Stoltenberg, NATO is beginning preparations for another long-term confrontation with the country that has become the successor of that state, to contain which the North Atlantic Alliance, in fact, was created back in 1949, proclaiming then its task to protect Europe from "Soviet influence".

Today, the archetype of the geopolitical conflict of the classical cold war has remained the same at a new stage in history.

Only now it is no longer a question of the Soviet, but of an imaginary Russian threat.

The second cardinal difference is that the former countries of the Eastern Bloc, after the collapse of the USSR, fell out of its orbit of influence and were absorbed by the alliance, are supposed to become an outpost of the future containment of Moscow, just as a python strangles, swallows and digests its prey, leaving it no chance to escape.

During a press conference in Brussels, Jens Stoltenberg discussed how the new defense schemes in the eastern direction of the alliance, which are still being developed, will look like.

He promised not only to increase the level of the presence of the alliance forces in Eastern Europe from a battalion to a brigade, but also to place heavy weapons near the Russian borders and create advanced command headquarters and ammunition and fuel depots here.

It cannot be said that absolutely everything has already been agreed upon and approved.

Apparently, this will be done directly at the Madrid summit, the participants of which will adopt a new strategy for the alliance.

It will replace the previous strategy, which is living its last days, adopted in November 2010 at the NATO summit in Lisbon and proclaimed Russia a partner.

Recall that during the Lisbon summit, a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council was held, in which the then President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev took part.

However, although it was only 12 years ago, it seems like an eternity has passed.

In the new NATO Madrid strategy, Russia will no longer be proclaimed a partner, but the main threat (the exact definition, apparently, is still being worked out).

This was announced the other day by the US representative to NATO, Julianne Smith.

“The development of the strategic concept has not been completed.

However, I think we basically agree that Russia is the number one challenge, the number one threat that NATO is currently facing,” said Julian Smith.

According to her, the North Atlantic Alliance was in a transitional state of reassessment of relations with Russia even before the start of a special military operation in Ukraine, developing plans to "strengthen deterrence and defense."

Indeed, this depressing situation was long overdue, as relations between Moscow and Brussels continued to steadily deteriorate.

Last October, in response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Brussels, Moscow actually broke off relations with the North Atlantic Alliance.

The Russian Foreign Ministry then announced the closure for an indefinite period of the country's permanent mission to NATO.

In addition, the activities of two NATO structures in Moscow were terminated - the military mission of the alliance and its information bureau.

“The actions of the NATO members confirm that they are not interested in an equal dialogue and joint work to de-escalate military-political tensions.

The line of the alliance towards our country is becoming more and more aggressive.

The “Russian threat” is inflated, including with the aim of strengthening the internal unity of the alliance, creating the appearance of its “demand” in modern geopolitical conditions,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Thus, everything falls into place.

Jens Stoltenberg's statement about the increase in the number of advanced battle groups in each of the countries of Eastern Europe from the battalion to the brigade level did not come out of nowhere.

How serious is this and how could it change the balance of power?

We start counting.

So, the number of battalions is from 300 to a thousand military personnel, brigades - three thousand.

The build-up of the military presence is obvious.

There is nothing good in this, although at the same time all this in itself is not critical.

The worst thing about this whole story is that this upgrade of the alliance's military presence in Eastern Europe signals a watershed and a frightening new reality in relations between Moscow and Brussels.

In fact, with its latest decision, NATO finally buries the “Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security” signed 25 years ago, on May 27, 1997, in which the basic principles of relations between Russia and NATO countries were formulated, areas of cooperation and a consultation mechanism were defined.

The Founding Act, which proclaimed a renunciation of confrontation and aggressive measures towards each other, signed by the then NATO Secretary General Javier Solana, ruled out the possibility of decisions like those announced this week by the current NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

On the eve of the NATO summit in Madrid, the alliance moved by leaps and bounds towards this decision.

During last week's Bucharest Nine summit, which includes countries on the eastern flank of the alliance - Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Estonia - it was stated that there was a need to significantly increase the number of NATO soldiers in Eastern Europe.

“We advocate that the Enhanced Forward Presence (“Enhanced Presence at the Forefront”), which today is on the eastern flank of NATO, not only spread to additional countries - Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia.

We also want this presence to be transformed into Enhanced forward defence, Polish President Andrzej Duda said.

According to him, the "Bucharest Nine" calls for "the existing battalion groups to be transformed into brigade groups and the number of NATO soldiers in individual countries on the eastern flank of the alliance to increase significantly."

In general, an elderly North Atlantic python, playing with its muscles, slowly but inexorably creeps up to the Russian borders and, accordingly, falls under the Russian sight.

And the answer has already been received to the question, to whom all this is NATO.

The point of view of the author may not coincide with the position of the editors.

Keywords: