Disinfo: American bombers over the Baltic Sea might target the Nord Stream 2 pipeline

Summary

NATO air forces are active in the Baltic States around the clock. American bombers explore new flight routes over the Baltic Sea, which would correspond to the route of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The bomber crews might target the pipeline.

Disproof

No evidence provided. This disinformation message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about the belligerent West attempting to encircle and weaken Russia. The article contains disinformation about Western belligerence towards Russia or Russian Infrastructure, like disinformation about Nord Stream 2. Nord Stream 2 is a gas pipeline-project in which companies from NATO member states participate. There are no reasons for NATO member states to attack the gas pipeline-project with NATO bombers. According to NATO-Fact-Sheet: "NATO Air Policing" is a peacetime collective defence mission, safeguarding the integrity of the NATO Alliance Member’s Airspace. Additionally: "NATO Air Policing is a collective task and a purely defensive mission, which involves the 24/7 presence of fighter aircraft, which are ready to react quickly to airspace violations. This enables the Alliance to detect, track and identify to the greatest extent possible all aerial objects approaching or operating within NATO airspace so that violations can be recognised, and appropriate action taken."

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 145
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/04/2019
  • Outlet language(s) German
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Baltic states
  • Keywords: Nord Stream 2, Baltic sea, NATO
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Russia is regarded as an enemy in the plans of NATO

On the eve of the 70th anniversary of the founding of NATO, the Alliance Defence College presented three ways to develop the military bloc. The report includes the “good”, “bad” and “terrible” scenarios, and in each of the forecasts, Russia is considered an enemy.

Disproof

This is a recurring Kremlin narrative about the belligerent West and NATO attempting to encircle and weaken Russia. According to the research paper "NATO's futures: the Atlantic Alliance between Power and Purpose", where three scenarios of NATO's future are mentioned, Russia is not regarded as the main enemy. Before the description the author explains: "The opening discussion of geopolitics pointed to the key trends we must assess as part of this more circumscribed approach to future history: not least the United States' approach to its modern-day Monroe doctrine but also the ability of all Allies to protect their Alliance into the future where China looms large, their ability to engage Russia in a regional order, and then their ability to contain non-state disruption to the south". While the three scenarios do explore potentially difficult relations with, i.a., a contentious Russia, the conclusion encourages a NATO mindset change on Russia to ensure a an all-around more sustainable outcome. "To secure NATO’s future and these wider benefits, the Allies should contemplate a number of ideas outlined in this report: that NATO should shift its mindset on Russia, downgrade its hope of friendship (which, when disappointed, heightens the level of antagonism) and instead offer Russia a partnership in a revised balance-of power arrangement for Europe." (p. 2)

Under the leadership of Petro Poroshenko, Kyiv has not advanced in the way of Europe

The State Duma recalled that over the past five years, under the leadership of Petro Poroshenko, Kyiv has not advanced in the way of Europe, but only moved away from Moscow.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Ukraine's lack of progress on its European ambitions. Ukraine is a priority partner for the European Union, also within the EU's Eastern Partnership. An Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the EU and Ukraine, was negotiated between 2007 and 2011 and signed on 21 March and 27 June 2014 under the presidency of Petro Poroshenko. It replaces earlier frameworks for cooperation. The Association Agreement is the main tool for bringing Ukraine and the EU closer together: it promotes deeper political ties, stronger economic links and the respect for common values. On 20 April 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal to allow visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Ukrainian citizens. As of June 2017 Ukrainians have been able to travel visa-free to the Schengen areas.

Half of internally displaced people from Donbas cannot find work in Ukraine

More than half of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Donbas who left the combat zone in 2014 still cannot find work on the territory controlled by the government of Ukraine. The reason for this is the low level of wages and the catastrophic shortage of jobs for Ukrainians. In addition, internally displaced persons cannot find housing, and therefore return to the occupied territories.

Disproof

According to the report of the National Monitoring System in Ukraine, which was submitted on April 9, Ukraine does not have a “catastrophic” level of unemployment. The study is based on surveys of focus groups of internally displaced persons, which included about 6,500 people (out of 1.6 million officially registered IDPs). According to the report, the number of internally displaced persons unable to work was 48%. These are pensioners, the sick, mothers on maternity leave, students etc. The remaining 52% of internally displaced persons are economically active. 44% of active IDPs have a permanent job that matches their qualifications. The remaining 8% are actually looking for work. Simple arithmetic shows that out of 6,500 IDPs, only 8% cannot gain employment - this is about 270 people. Thus, the Russian media have overstated data on unemployment among immigrants by more than ten times.