Disinfo: Coronavirus COVID-19 reached NATO and disrupts its anti-Russian plans

Summary

Coronavirus COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the world. Hundreds of forums and international events are being cancelled due to the pandemic. The time has come for NATO military exercises. COVID-19 reaches NATO and disrupts its plans. The large anti-Russian exercise Cold Response is cancelled. So, it is possible that the same decision will be made for the Defender 2020.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that NATO is encircling Russia and that US-led military exercises, Cold Response and Defender-Europe 2020, are directed against Russia. Find similar cases here. Cold Response 2020 is a Norwegian-led military exercise in northern Norway and not directed against Russia. Norway is a leading nation in NATO when it comes to cold weather operations, and has extensive experience in this field. This makes Norway a natural and experienced host for winter exercises such as Cold Response. The main aim of the exercise is to secure the Norwegian Armed Forces and allies' ability to conduct multinational joint exercises with a high-intensity combat scenario in demanding winter conditions. The exercise is now being terminated, due to the ongoing coronavirus situation in Norway. Defender Europe 2020 is not aimed against Russia and is defensive in nature. NATO’s secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg affirmed that it is not directed against any particular country. Its purpose is to practice the rapid deployment of large-scale forces across the Atlantic into Europe, demonstrating the US military’s ability to quickly send a massive contingent to support NATO and respond to any crisis. In response to the current outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and recent guidance by the United States Secretary of Defence, the exercise has been modified in size and scope. You can see other examples of disinformation about NATO in our database, such as its never-ending provocations, its attempts to block Moscow in its sphere of influence, the Alliance's permanent targeting of Russia and Belarus, its role as a US subjugation tool for other countries and its unreliability to defend its members or its plans to continue attacking other countries, and that Defender 2020 is for testing options for invading the Kaliningrad region.