The thesis investigates how NATO has managed its relations with Russia during the 1991-2011 periods. The analysis is on two levels – a strategic level and an operative action level – to demonstrate that both words and actions matter. NATO’s Strategic Concepts as well as other official strategic documents are the main data material. The messages that NATO communicates to Russia in these documents are analysed in light of the context, i.e. events on the European security arena as well as developments in Russia. Elements from the Realist (Jervis 1978) and Constructivist (Wendt 1992) paradigms within IR theory are combined to illustrate that NATO’s management of its relations with Russia is a mixture of cooperation and confrontation. Three particularly contentious issues in NATO-Russia relations – the institutional framework, enlargement, and arms control – are analysed to provide examples of NATO’s interaction (or the lack of it) with Russia.