Russia: NATO expansion is biggest threat we face

Russia has adopted a new military doctrine, keeping North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) expansion first among its list of primary external threats. 

The revised doctrine, signed by President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinNATO to discuss ways to deter Russia: Lithuanian official Putin says he took experimental nasal COVID-19 vaccine US leads a global release of oil from reserves, but will it outmaneuver OPEC+? MORE on Friday, is comparable to a 2010 version, which also listed NATO expansion as a primary threat. 

Additions to the doctrine include a highlighting of the threat from "global strategic antiballistic missile systems" and a Russian goal to protect its interests in the Arctic region, according to Russian state-funded news organization RT

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The doctrine’s adoption comes days after Ukraine took a major step toward joining NATO, when its parliament overwhelmingly renounced the country's nonaligned status that prevented it from joining military alliances. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has become the latest Russian political figure to warn Ukraine against trying to join NATO, recently saying on state television that such a move would be "dangerous."

“There are a few Western countries that want to maintain the crisis in Ukraine and to maintain and boost the confrontation between Ukraine and Russia, including through provocative efforts toward membership in the Atlantic alliance,” Lavrov said, according to Reuters. 

"The very idea of Ukraine's efforts to join NATO are dangerous, not only for Ukrainian people, because there is no unity over that issue, it is dangerous for European security," he added.

Tensions between Russia and the west, especially the United States, escalated sharply this year when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March. American officials believe Moscow-backed rebels were responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in July, which killed all 298 on board.