NATO's self-described mission as an expression of the Transatlantic community's "common democratic values" has always provoked eye-rolling in Moscow. Now a former US ambassador to the alliance has confirmed Russian assumptions.
While Russia has always contended that the most important quality for European members is that they are willing to subjugate themselves to Washington's control, NATO styles itself as a protector and promoter of democracy and freedom. An alliance of like-minded nations dedicated to upholding Western values' on both sides of the Atlantic. Meanwhile, in Eastern Europe, membership has been seen as a prerequisite for inclusion in the Western family' itself.