The Russian challenge to the European security system is internal rather than external, because despite all the political efforts at distancing Russia from Europe, the indivisibility remains undiminished. The underlying assumption for Russia’s course is that the West is in irreversible decline, and the conclusion about the dissolution of the West-controlled world order is established in the key doctrinal documents. Instead of passively waiting for this meltdown to develop, it makes perfect sense for the Russian leadership to accelerate it pro-actively, using various levers, including military force. Moscow acts on the assumption that its “unconventional” methods could yield results only if augmented by military threats, against which the Europeans cannot master convincing counter-argument. The imperative to sustain and update credibility of these threats necessitates allocation of greater share of available resources to military build-up, which clashes with economic rationale of reducing this burden in the situation of protracted stagnation.
Baev, Pavel K. (2018) The military dimension of Russia's connection with Europe, European Security 27 (1): 82–97.