History of NATO’s eastward expansion

The Russian side said that on the occasion of the reunification of the two countries, then US Secretary of State James Baker had promised Gorbachev when meeting with Gorbachev, “If NATO can maintain a military presence in Germany, then NATO will not expand eastward, not even an inch.” . But since then, NATO has experienced five rounds of eastward expansion, and it has not given up on continuing eastward expansion…

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO for short, is an international organization established by European and North American countries to achieve defense cooperation. It was established on August 25, 1949.

Greece and Turkey joined the organization in 1952, the Federal Republic of Germany and Spain in 1955 and 1982, respectively.

With a large number of nuclear weapons and conventional forces, NATO is an important military force in the West. This is a sign of the realization of a strategic alliance in the Western military camp after World War II. It is the extension and development of the Marshall Plan in the military field, allowing the United States to control the EU defense system headed by Germany and France (21 of the 27 EU member states are is a member of NATO), a symbol of the United States achieving superpower leadership.

The Cold War began with the signing of the Warsaw Pact against NATO by the Soviet bloc on May 14, 1955. During the Cold War, the strategic goal of NATO was mainly to prevent a large-scale military invasion by the Warsaw Pact. Therefore, the issue of military has become a major consideration in the design of NATO’s security strategy. Thirty-five years later (1990), the GDR broke away from the Warsaw Pact and formally joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the name of Germany.

Headquartered in Brussels, the capital of Belgium.

NATO’s highest decision-making body is the NATO Council.

The Council is composed of the heads of state and senior government of the member states, foreign ministers, and defense ministers.

Since 1999, NATO has experienced five rounds of eastward expansion, advancing more than 1,000 kilometers eastward, absorbing 14 countries, and now has 30 member states.

1999: Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic

2004: Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Estonia

2009: Albania and Croatia

2017: Montenegro

2020: North Macedonia

The eastward expansion of NATO has greatly threatened the Russian mainland.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Fomin said that compared with 2020, the number of NATO national reconnaissance aircraft dispatched in the Black Sea region in 2021 will increase from 436 to 710, an increase of 60%.

In the Baltic region, NATO countries have conducted more than 1,200 sorties and more than 50 maritime reconnaissance sorties. In 2021, the NATO Joint Forces Command will conduct 15 exercises in the Black Sea and more than 20 combat training in the Baltic Sea.