Geography and demography will always compel Russia to prioritize its European frontier, but shifts in global economic and security dynamics have drawn Russia back into the Indo-Pacific, where Moscow is finding it has limited tools to maintain its strategic interests. Russia recently issued a set of demands to reset its frontier with NATO, effectively calling for NATO to withdraw to its 1997 position, stop any further eastward expansion, and contact Moscow before conducting any military exercises with countries along the Russian periphery. While the demands appeared bold (and have already been largely rejected by both NATO and the United States), they reflect the geopolitical realities that have long shaped Russia’s European and southward views and priorities.
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