States with significant security issues
Poland, Romania, and Moldova
in Defending Eastern Europe
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The chapter examines three states which face perceived security challenges from Russia: Poland, Romania, and Moldova. While geopolitical factors mostly explain these challenges, cultural and other factors are also important. Poland has to confront a legacy of 500 years of complex security relationship with Russia, mostly characterized by mutual hostility and conflict. Romania is a non-Slavic state among the Slavic sea, but has to deal with legacies of conflict with Russia/Soviet Union over Bessarabia (Moldova). Significantly, between 1922 and 1939 Poland and Romania were joined by an anti-Soviet military alliance, and we are seeing a return to a similar alignment today. Significantly, both countries have been pursuing a relatively well-funded and vigorous defense policies aimed at reinforcing the alliance with NATO and with the United States. The recent Crimean crisis only reinforced these policies, leading to Poland’s and Romania’s strenuous efforts at military buildup. Poland stands out in NATO as the country with the highest relative defense spending besides the United States and Greece. Both Poland and Romanian are characterized by a strong Atlanticist and pro-US direction of their defense policies.

Defending Eastern Europe

The defense policies of new NATO and EU member states


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