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  • Rusya-NATO i sredata na sigurnost sled Studenata voina: Chast 1–1989–1999 by Nadia Boyadjieva
  • Nikolay Valkov
Nadia Boyadjieva, Rusya-NATO i sredata na sigurnost sled Studenata voina: Chast 1–1989–1999 [Russia, NATO, and the Security Environment after the Cold War: Part One. 1989–1999]. Sofia: “Daniela Ubenova” Publishing House, 2013. 384 pp.

Nadia Boyadjieva has produced an excellent, in-depth study of relations between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the impact on the security environment in Europe after the end of the Cold War. This is the first book by a Bulgarian scholar to focus on that particular aspect of international relations. Boyadjieva makes an important contribution by highlighting the influence of the Cold War and its legacy in understanding the security milieu during the period under investigation. Another significant merit of her research is the special attention she pays to official and unofficial Russian perspectives on security relations, drawing on archival documents, academic literature, mass-media publications, and interviews.

The eight chapters of the book follow the chronology of the events that took place during the decade immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The first chapter provides an introductory framework for the rest of the book. Boyadjieva traces how a bipolar system of international relations emerged and congealed after the peace treaties that ended World War II.

The next chapter deals with the dramatic changes in the Soviet Union and in Soviet foreign policy in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a result of Mikhail Gorbachev’s wide-ranging political and economic reforms, which transformed and ultimately destabilized the Soviet state and Communist Party. Boyadjieva astutely explains the reasons for the changes and offers an insightful analysis of the consequences of the reforms. When discussing the collapse of the USSR and the emergence of the Russian Federation, [End Page 283] she meticulously explores the debates among political leaders, military experts, and intellectuals in Russia about the country’s new security priorities.

Chapter three turns to the new security environment in Central and Eastern Europe immediately after the disintegration of the bipolar international system. The security vacuum in which these countries found themselves spurred them to pursue contacts with NATO as relentlessly as possible in the hope of eventually gaining admission into the alliance. Boyadjieva rightly devotes special attention to Russia’s relations with the Baltic states and the Russian government’s position regarding the dramatic conflicts in the western Balkans.

Chapter four recounts the formulation of the Russian government’s new National Security Concept, which, as Boyadjieva demonstrates, was shaped by the nuclear legacy of the ex-USSR and the continuing negotiations between Moscow and Washington about the practical application of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. Under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, Ukraine agreed to establish itself as a non–nuclear weapons state and to facilitate the removal of all nuclear weapons from Ukrainian territory—weapons that had been left over from the USSR. The debates among Russian military experts regarding the new military doctrine played a crucial role in the elaboration of the overall national security concept, as Boyadjieva shows.

The following chapter analyzes the efforts by President Boris Yeltsin and his foreign policy and military advisers to devise a foreign policy strategy suitable for the post–Cold War world. Boyadjieva also examines how the Russian political elite gradually changed their views about NATO, a process spurred on by NATO enlargement in the latter half of the 1990s and especially by NATO’s 1999 war against Serbia over Kosovo.

Chapter six documents the new course of action undertaken by NATO, which also had to adapt to the geopolitical and geostrategic realities after the end of the bipolar Cold War system. Initially, the NATO governments were unwilling to bring in new members, but in late 1993 and 1994 the U.S. administration under President Bill Clinton changed the alliance’s position. The doctrine of eastward expansion adopted by NATO in the mid-1990s provoked sharp reactions among Russian political elites, Russian journalists and commentators, Russian military commanders, and the Russian public.

The subsequent chapter critically analyzes the NATO-Russia Founding Act from 1997 and the creation of the...


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pp. 283-285
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