The eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will not make Europe or the world safer, Croatian political analyst Zarko Puhovski told Xinhua in a recent interview.
NATO's expansion and Russia's strong reaction are bound to result in "long and unfriendly borders," which could eventually spark conflicts, Puhovski said.
NATO's expansion, he explained, will only serve to strengthen the so-called "block policy" in the world, in which one block is pushing against another and which thus elicits strong reactions.
The Cold War era was marked by ideological conflicts, but today's conflicts are geopolitical, he said. In Puhovski's opinion, the continuous expansion of NATO and its continuous provocation have prompted Russia to take military action against Ukraine.
The fundamental purpose of NATO's expansion is to encircle Russia, he said, and the current confrontation between NATO and Russia is just a continuation of the Cold War mentality, although Russia has already adopted the same political system as the western countries, Puhovski noted.
Finland and Sweden, which have both applied to join NATO, are not subject to any real threats from Russia either militarily or socially, noted the analyst.
Finland and Sweden's application is only of "symbolic importance" for NATO, just as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has pointed out. Finland and Sweden are already taking part in NATO activities and their accession to NATO does not change anything, Puhovski said.
NATO, as a military alliance, has lost its security raison d'etre after the disintegration of the Warsaw Pact, Puhovski noted. Nonetheless, "NATO has been continuing to expand on the grounds of defending western values, democracy, human rights and the rule of law."
However, certain NATO members have a ruling system very similar to that of Russia. How can NATO justify itself as well as some of its members for allegedly standing with the so-called western values, human rights and democracy? he asked.