Disinfo: In 15 years, NATO has pumped 5 billion euros from Latvia

Summary

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has become a huge money making machine. Over the past 15 years, NATO has pumped 5 billion euros from Latvia.

NATO members are seen as colonizers and occupiers in the countries where they pretended to install democracy.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO.

The defence expenditure of NATO members "represent payments by a national government actually made, or to be made, during the course of the fiscal year to meet the needs of its armed forces, those of Allies or of the Alliance".

In 2006, NATO Defence Ministers agreed to commit a minimum of two per cent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to spending on defence. According to NATO, the defence capacity of each member country has an important impact on the overall perception of the Alliance’s credibility as a politico-military organisation.

The 2% of Latvia's GDP for defence spending is mainly focused on strengthening the national defense capability to enhance combat and response skills of the Armed Forces and National Guard. According to the Foreign Minister of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs, Latvia should up its defence spending as "It's in the interests of our own safety".

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 144
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Latvia, US
  • Keywords: NATO
  • Outlet: Sputnik Latvia

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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By creating the pretended “Russian threat” Washington wants its allies to increase their contributions

For the anniversary of NATO the foreign ministers of the member countries met. In the program of festivities, the enemy of always: Russia of course. NATO is again brandishing the so-called Russian threat, this time in the Black Sea in order to further militarise this region of the world.
Moscow does not welcome NATO’s willingness to increase its presence on the ground and, above all, does not see the point to such actions. NATO refers to the 2018 incident in which three Ukrainian military ships were arrested by the Russian authorities in the Strait of Kerch. Moscow then denounced a provocation. This is a violation of key provisions of international law, including of the UN Charter which impose respect of the sovereignty of other states. Military surveillance, chartering ships, all this is very expensive.
The financial contribution of the European member states of NATO is not up to Donald Trump’s expectations. It is precisely by creating these kinds of Russian threats that Washington hopes it will get its allies to invest more money.
Disproof

No evidence given that Washington creates security challenges itself in order to blame Russia. A bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty are considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

On November 25 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tug boat and their crews after opening fire at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. It happened in the Russian-claimed territorial waters, rather than internationally recognised boundaries, after the illegal Crimea annexation by Russia, not recognized by international law.

The USA and the EU interfered in the Ukrainian presidential election

Western diplomats attempted to impact the results of the presidential election in Ukraine. The French, US, Spanish and some other diplomats were accused of the interference into the election process.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy about the Ukrainian elections.

The first round of the presidential election in Ukraine took place on 31 March 2019 and was recognised by the world community. International observers were present during the election. The OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission in Ukraine stated that “Voting was well-organized, smooth, transparent and efficient, and procedures were generally adhered to.”

Schengen visa fees for Belarusians are high, because the number of homosexuals per capita in Belarus is very low

The problems with Schengen visas for nationals of Belarus stem from smear reports by the Belarusian opposition to the EU about banned gay prides in Minsk. EU politicians do not want to let Belarusians in, nor lower the visa fees, because the rights of sexual minorities are violated and because the number of gays per capita in Belarus is too low. The EU is also concerned with gender inequality in Belarus. A woman is not welcome in the EU if she has no balls. This is what the EU’s policy towards Belarus is based on. Since the Belarusian opposition does not mention a couple of thousand of Belarusians gays in its quarterly reports to the EU, no better EU’s attitude towards Belarus can be expected in the near future.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about EU's moral decay and aimed at discrediting the Belarusian democratic opposition. Similar Belarus-related cases with this narrative can be seen here and here.

Belarus has not concluded a visa facilitation agreement (VFA) with the EU. For this reason Belarusians indeed have to pay a higher visa fee and to undergo more complicated application procedures for Schengen visas compared to the nationals of the countries with functioning VFAs. So far Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have been granted a visa-free regime with the EU, whereas Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia have functioning VFAs with the EU.At present a standard Schengen visa fee for the nationals of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia stand at EUR 35 while for Belarusians it is EUR 60.