According to Rasmussen, NATO believes that Russia considers NATO an opponent, and the organization will have to make adjustments with regard to this attitude, however, the general secretary noted that healthy partnership with Russia would be beneficial for Euro-Atlantic security.
NATO has been boosting its military presence close to Russia’s borders after Crimea was reunified with Russia back in March. The bloc dispatched a number of warships to the Black Sea, with the total number of NATO ships in the region reaching nine in July, the most significant presence in recent decades.
NATO also reinforced air patrolling missions in the airspace over the Baltic countries. In April, Washington sent four airborne units to Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia to support its NATO allies amid the fighting in eastern Ukraine.
Additionally, in July Bulgaria held the Breeze 2014 naval drills, involving ships from the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2.
Russia has repeatedly expressed concern over increased NATO military presence at its borders and promised to respond to the alliance’s actions in order to defend its national security.