The Lisbon NATO Summit and Russia’s Challenge

Ariel Cohen /

The NATO summit to be held in Lisbon on Nov. 19–20 has a hefty agenda in which Russia features prominently. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is defining its role in Afghanistan; is seeking agreement on joint missile defense; and is hosting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The Lisbon NATO summit is supposed to be attended by 27 state heads, plus Medvedev who will attend the separate NATO-Russia summit.

Despite viewing NATO’s enlargement as a threat, Moscow still conducts a dialogue with the organization. This is understandable, as the real threats to Russia come from the instability in Northern Caucasus and Central Asia, and, in the long term, from the increases in China’s military and economic power. Russia shares the longest border in the world with China, and suffers from low birth rates and imbalances of both population and military forces in Siberia and the Far East. (more…)