In the aftermath of a trilateral German-French-Russian heads of state meeting, John Vinocur (or a headline writer at the Herald Tribune) wonders whether the U.S. is losing Europe to Russia. There are a few problems with this way of addressing this issue, not least of which is the fact that Russia is in no way capable of providing the same kind of partnership to Europe that the U.S. does. It also confuses an effort to harmonize relations with an alignment, and ignores the point of such a harmonization, which is to mitigate the significant power that Russia already exercises within the European security sphere through its ability to interfere with energy supplies and destabilize Europe's easternmost members.
Finally, as Vinocur points out by citing a French source at Elysée Palace, it's premature to assess whether Russia's Western turn represents a permanent, or even a durable strategic shift. If you take the 2008 Russia-Georgia War as the highwater mark of Russian belligerence toward the U.S. and NATO, certainly the past year points in that direction.
But it bears noting that in the intervening two years, Russia has essentially accomplished all of the foreign policy objectives previously driving that belligerence. NATO's eastward expansion is off the table. The U.S. European-based missile defense system has been modified and multilateralized (although as Richard Weitz's WPR column today makes clear, it remains problematic). And Russian dominance in Central Asia is re-established.