The disappearance of the Soviet Union and the end of its hold over Central and Eastern Europe posed the question of the future of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). What continued purpose could NATO serve? How far east could it enlarge without upsetting Russia? NATO's first-ever armed conflict was with Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999. The Kosovo War led to intensified discussion in Europe and the United States over the need for increased European defence spending and operational efficiency within the alliance, and over the prospects of more ‘out-of-area’ peacekeeping or peacemaking operations. The United States and Russia abrogated the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and concluded the Treaty of Moscow. Russia's relations with NATO became even closer with the creation of a NATO–Russia Council. NATO was not likely to disappear as it was still useful to both sides, but the communality of purpose was not the same as it had been during the Cold War.
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