In spite of the various problems and false starts discussed in this volume so far, the idea that some kind of ‘partnership’ is developing between Russia and NATO has become increasingly pervasive. The main analytical task in this, the final chapter, is therefore to examine whether any real partnership does in fact exist and, if so, what form it has taken. Before embarking on this, however, it is worth spending a little time considering and, ultimately, rejecting the possibility, which is sometimes raised, that the Russian government has not in fact been interested in any kind of partnership with NATO at all. Rather, some have detected official Russian interest in attempting to balance and constrain the United States, through trying to loosen its bonds with its core NATO allies in Europe. Elements of continuity with the 1950s are sometimes perceived in this context. As was noted in Chapter 1, it was often supposed by western leaders during the earlier Cold War years that one of the Soviet Union’s enduring key objectives was to try to drive wedges between the US and its NATO allies.