Formerly comprising the nuclear relationship between Russia and the US, Russia’s redefined concept of strategic stability includes all forms of military activity, and integrates local, regional, and global questions into a single framework.
Russia views Northern Europe primarily through its overall relationship with NATO and the US. This also has implications for the Nordic states when Russia views their actions in building territorial defence through its own perception of stability. Russia sees security environments as systems whose ‘balance’ it needs to sustain with various methods. ‘Defensive’ methods include military build-up; ‘offensive’ methods coercion and intimidation. In Northern Europe, these actions have been directed particularly towards Norway since 2016.
There are signs of a remilitarisation of the Norwegian Sea and the High North, where some aspects of Russia’s military activities have exceeded Cold War levels. Nordic countries should be aware that Russia’s concept of regional stability is different from theirs. Despite reassurance, Russia may deem international cooperation between others or even their efforts to maintain national defence as destabilising.
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