Disinfo: Giving Ukraine special status is just an opportunity for NATO to expand eastwards

Summary

Giving Ukraine the status of a NATO partner with expanded capabilities is just an opportunity for the Alliance to expand eastwards. This decision is no different from a deliberate promotion of this destructive course by the Ukrainian authorities. With ever new dividends the NATO states are in fact showing that they are not interested in the settlement of the inner-Ukrainian conflict. Otherwise it will be difficult to further intimidate citizens by the invented Russian threat and to militarily expand the Alliance’s eastern flank.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the “Russian threat” is an invention spread by NATO in order to expand eastwards. NATO does not "expand eastwards" as the pro-Kremlin media claim. Rather, the Alliance considers the applications of candidate countries who want to join the alliance based on their own national will. NATO enlargement is not directed against Russia. NATO's "Open Door Policy" is based on Article 10 of the Alliance's founding document, the North Atlantic Treaty (1949). The Treaty states that NATO membership is open to any "European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area". Ukraine as a sovereign nation has the right to choose its own security arrangements. This is a fundamental principle of European security, one that Russia has also subscribed to and should respect. According to Article I of the Helsinki Final Act which established the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 1975, every country has the right "to belong, or not to belong, to international organisations, to be, or not to be, a party to bilateral or multilateral treaties including the right to be, or not to be, a party to treaties of alliance." All the OSCE member states, including Russia, have sworn to uphold those principles. Moreover, the Russian threat in Ukraine is not invented. In March 2014, Russia illegally annexed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. Russian troops obliged the parliament of Crimea to organise a referendum, which was illegitimate under international law, and then formally annexed the peninsula and brought it under Russian territorial control. The annexation has been condemned by the UNGA (see the resolution A/RES/68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine). A year after the illegal annexation, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum. Also, the war in eastern Ukraine is a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since 2014. Since the illegal annexation of Crimea, NATO has been genuinely concerned about the security challenges posed by Russia to Transatlantic security. This disinformation message appeared in the same article as the claim that Ukraine refuses to implement the Minsk agreements and continues the war in Donbas.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 202
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/06/2020
  • Outlet language(s) German
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: security threat, West, Anti-Russian, Maria Zakharova, Ukrainian disintegration, Russian expansionism, NATO
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Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the United States supports the so-called "colour revolutions" around the world. This narrative portrays any spontaneous disorders and civil uprisings in other states, especially the former Soviet republics, as Western-funded "colour revolutions".

According to this narrative, which has been recently applied also to explain protests in Venezuela, and in Bolivia any civil uprising is not spontaneous, but is supported, if not outright organised by the West, which is portrayed as an aggressive actor constantly preparing new coups.

Spain recognises Crimea as Russian

Spain recognised that Crimea was Russian after an infographist coloured the peninsula in red like a zone with high coronavirus prevalence like Russia and not a zone with a medium prevalence like Ukraine. Ukraine did not yet react hysterically to this news but it will surely.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation message on the status of illegally annexed Crimea. Spain condemns the illegal annexation of Crimea without ambiguity. This year the country reaffirmed its commitment to UN resolution 68/262. Read similar cases claiming that historical Crimean Russian land returned, over 95% of Crimea voted to be part of Russia, Crimea always was Russian, Crimean people have expressed their desire to rejoin Russia in a democratic process and that Crimea never belonged to Ukraine.