How would Ukraine joining NATO affect Russian security?

The Politicus
Feb 21, 2022 05:54 AM 0 Answers
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The current Russian troop buildup close to Ukraine and the exercise in Belarus are partially justified by Russian security interests which, in particular, mean that Russia very much opposes NATO membership of Ukraine.

It seems clear that NATO would not admit Ukraine in the foreseeable future. But assuming Ukraine joins at some point: How would that affect (harm) Russian security?

  • Having NATO troops in Ukraine would of course facilitate a ground attack. Does anybody in Russia or NATO seriously consider that remotely plausible, even in the future? (I'd have thought that that was exceedingly unlikely given nuclear deterrence and the lack of any interest in starting a direct war with Russia.)
  • Would Ukraine offer a particular advantage for stationing ballistic missiles or anti-ballistic defense (or something similar) that current NATO territory does not?
  • In that sense, is the situation similar to the Cuban Missile Crisis? (Here, my understanding is that at the time, missiles in Cuba (and Turkey, for the US missiles) posed a serious threat in addition to the existing delivery systems.)
  • Is there some other aspect?

Edit: Another question (Why would Russia care about NATO troops on its borders if it has nuclear weapons?) asked about similar aspects, but is not quite the same because it does not consider any non-invasion harm to Russia's security.

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