Russia’s relations with Europe and the United States are at their worst since the end of the Soviet Union. Russian leaders reject the post-Cold War vision of a Europe whole, free, at peace with itself and its neighbours, view NATO as a threat and increasingly consider the EU as a danger to Russia’s political system. This is unlikely to change soon. The anti-Western worldview of Russia’s national security establishment, the proximity of the NATO-Russia line of contact to the Russian heartland, and Russia’s newly assertive posture in many far-flung regions of the world contribute to an atmosphere of heightened tensions between Russia and Europe and the United States. This, however, may not be the biggest challenge facing the West. In the age of Trump, that challenge may come from within, not outside, the Western alliance.

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This paper was originally published by Istituto Affari Internazionali.