A New Path Forward for NATO and Russia, nationalinterest.org

Sergey Rogov, director of the Institute of USA and Canada Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Relations between NATO member states and Russia are complex and troubled. It will take concerted efforts by both sides to move their interaction to a more positive plane. […]

Over the past four months, we have joined with more than thirty other security experts, including retired diplomats and military officers from the United States, Russia and other European countries, for detailed discussions on how NATO and Russia might reduce the risk of inadvertent conflict. We came together because of concern that the prospects of such a clash have grown alarmingly high. […]

The situation cries out for more dialogue and re-establishing political and military contacts. For example, more frequent meetings between the Chief of the Russian General Staff, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee could address ways to lower tensions and the possibility of military misunderstanding.

Those exchanges could lead to new arrangements building on the 1972 U.S.-Soviet (Russia) Agreement on Prevention of Incidents at Sea to regulate how NATO and Russian warships and aircraft operate when near one another. The sides’ sailors and airmen are professionals and will follow procedures designed to avoid actions that the other side might misinterpret as hostile.

In the Baltic region, NATO and Russian ground forces face one another. Arrangements based on the 1989 U.S.-Soviet Prevention of Dangerous Military Activities Agreement could increase confidence by requiring that military units behave with particular caution when in border areas. There could be provisions setting lines of contact in case one side’s ambiguous movements appeared threatening to the other. Läs artikel