‘To keep the Americans in, the Russians out and the Germans down’ was how Lord Ismay, the first Secretary General of NATO, defined the purpose of the organisation. That was in the 1950s, and everyone considers that this view belongs to the past. Everyone that is, except the Russians, who continue to believe that NATO seeks to exclude them. Whether sincere or calculated, this attitude has in any event coloured the year 2007 to the point where we can speak of a return of the Russian question in Europe, and hence of the European question in American strategic priorities. But was this Moscow’s objective?