Disinfo: Helsinki's reckless adherence to the West's policy: the reason why it cannot have good relations with Moscow

Summary

Relations with Finland cannot be normalised because of its unequivocal adherence to the collective West’s current policy.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets about Finland’s and Sweden’s future membership of NATO.

In fact, Finland has always been striving for good-neighbourly relations with Russia. Helsinki's decision to enter NATO is a justified attempt to protect itself as Moscow is waging its war of aggression against Ukraine. The blame for the deterioration in relations between Finland and Russia falls entirely on Moscow because it is threatening security by its aggressive behaviour in the whole of Europe. Russia also makes provocative military flights and maneuvres over its neighbours in the Baltic region. For example, a Russian Mi-17 helicopter violated Finnish airspace in May 2022. In April, Finnish authorities accused a Russian IL-96-300 of violating the country’s airspace in the Gulf of Finland. Sweden and Denmark have also experienced repeated violations or provocations by Russian planes and warships.

On 18 May 2022, Finland and Sweden simultaneously handed in their official letters of application to join NATO, a momentous step for the two historically militarily non-aligned countries. The leaders of both countries have made it clear that the decision to apply for membership is a direct consequence of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. An opinion poll conducted in early May 2022 saw over three-quarters of Finns in favour of NATO membership, whereas a mere 12% of respondents took the opposite view.

Read more disinformation cases about Finland and Sweden’s future membership of NATO and claims that NATO is posing a threat to Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 302
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 27/07/2022
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Finland, Russia
  • Keywords: EU/NATO enlargement, Anti-Russian

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Sanctions do not help Ukraine, on the other hand, they are bad for the European economy and if it continues like this, they will kill the European economy.

Disproof

Old and recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative stating that sanctions would barely hurt or even benefit to Russia while it would dramatically hurt the EU, repurposed to serve in the context of Russia's unjustified and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

The EU adopted so far six sanction packages against Russia due to its illegal aggression and occupation of Ukrainian territories. Not all trades restrictions are yet enforced as the energy sector needs longer transition periods so it is too early to assess the full effect of the sanction as that work in a the long term. However, it is incorrect to state that Russian economy would be barely affected or would even benefit from the sanctions. The Russian leadership is constantly demanding the sanctions be removed.

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Russia knows how Caesars are delivered, and as soon as they arrive, they will be covered by the Russian high-precision weapons. The west should think about whether it's worth delivering weapons to Ukraine.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about alleged Ukrainian corruption aiming at deterring the West from delivering more weapons to Ukraine.

DFR Lab has analyzed how this fake story emerged as a rumor based on nothing but the fantasy of Internet users and was then exploited by Russian media to lobby against military support to Ukraine. Amplified by Kremlin media and taking advantage of other legitimate coverage on the risk of weapons smuggling, it gained a semblance of credence.

Disinfo: NATO mounts efforts to create direct military threats to Russia

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Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets claiming that NATO has aggressive intentions against Russia and accusing the West in general of Russophobia.

In reality, Western nations have been trying to establish good relations with Russia since the breakup of the former Soviet Union in 1991. According to the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation in 1997, “NATO and Russia do not consider each other as adversaries.” At their recent summit in Madrid, NATO leaders adopted a new strategic blueprint branding Russia as “the most significant and direct threat to Allies’ security and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.” But it does not mean that NATO is posing a threat to Russia. The alliance only wants to ensure the security of its member states. NATO is primarily a political organisation, which aims at solving conflicts by peaceful means. Finland’s and Sweden’s future membership of the alliance is caused by their desire to protect themselves from possible threats and challenges in the future rather than by NATO’s alleged intention to inflict harm on Russia.

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