“In recent years, NATO and Russia have returned to a mutual deterrence relationship following the progressive erosion of the cooperative security policies they had pursued for one and a half decades after the end of the Cold War, which had resulted in an unprecedented reduction of nuclear weapons and conventional armed forces in Europe.
The risks inherent in the current situation no longer present any danger of large-scale offensive action on a continental scale. Instead, current threat perceptions on both sides concentrate on the eventuality of crossborder offensive operations in sensitive areas where Russian and NATO armed forces may directly engage with each other. This is particularly acute in the Baltic and the Black Sea areas.
The principal objective of this study is to identify measures to reduce the risks of further escalation by stabilizing the deterrence relationship in the sensitive NATO-Russia contact zones through arms control and other political means of crisis management.”