Disinfo: Actions of NATO are a hidden war preparation

Summary

Nobody declares war on Russia, but at the same time, many NATO actions can be regarded as unfriendly. These are not actions of a peaceful period. This is a hidden preparation for war.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on NATO belligerence towards Russia and on Russophobia.

NATO is a defensive alliance, whose purpose is to protect its member states. NATO exercises and military deployments are not directed against Russia – or any other country. Any claims that NATO is preparing an attack on Russia are absurd.

In direct response to Russia's use of military force against its neighbours, NATO has deployed four multinational battlegroups to the Baltic States and Poland. These forces are rotational, defensive and proportionate. They cannot compare to the three divisions Russia has established in its Western Military and Southern Military Districts. Before Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea, there were no plans to deploy Allied troops to the eastern part of the Alliance. NATO's aim is to prevent conflict, protect its Allies, and preserve the peace.

The Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia.

See similar cases here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue176
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: War preparation, NATO

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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NATO promised not to expand to the East

After the collapse of the Warsaw bloc, NATO made promises that they would not expand to the East. But this did not happen. And with all the expansion of NATO that took place, they brought the bloc closer to Russia’s borders.
Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West encircling Russia via NATO.

NATO Allies take decisions by consensus and these are recorded. There is no record of any such decision having been taken by NATO. Personal assurances from individual leaders cannot replace Alliance consensus and do not constitute formal NATO agreement. This promise was never made, as confirmed by Mikhail Gorbachev, then-president of the Soviet Union.

Russian defence expenditure is only $44 Billion

The military expenditures of Russia, which NATO was set up to fight, amount to about $44 billion, while the expenses of its European counterpart of the alliance is more than $280 billion, and the US defence budget is estimated at $700 billion. Paradoxically enough to refute the allegations of a Russian military threat.

Disproof

According to the Stockholm International Peace and Research Institute, the Russian military spending has fallen to the sixth highest in the world in 2018, at $61.4 billion, not $ 44B.

In reality, Russia’s effective military expenditure, based on purchasing power parity (Moscow buys from Russian defence manufacturers in rubles), is more in the range of $150-180 billion per year, with a much higher percentage dedicated to procurement, research and development than Western defence budgets.

Kyiv planned to grant Crimea to the US as a colony

Kyiv planned to grant Crimea to the US as a colony. The US-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership considered deployment of the US colonial administration in Simferopol in the name of “honourable diplomatic representation”.

Disproof

The statement is untrue, there is no evidence to support it. Also consistent with the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that Ukraine is under the external control of the US.

The US-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership adopted in 2008, considered opening the American diplomatic presence (American Presence Post) in Simferopol. The partnership text also mentioned Crimea as one of the regions of Ukraine and recognized the territorial integrity of Ukraine. American Presence Post is not an imperialist, colonial administration, as presented in the claim, but is a small diplomatic facility also operating in the cities of France, UK and other countries.