The US government promised Mikhail Gorbachev that the Atlantic Alliance would not expand to the East

Summary

In 1990 the US government promised the then president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, that the Atlantic Alliance would not expand to the East.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation that NATO had promised that the Alliance would not expand to the East.

Back in 2014, Gorbachev rejected this claim stating that the topic of ‘NATO expansion’ was not discussed at all.

NATO Allies take decisions by consensus and these are recorded. There is no record of any decision to refrain from accepting the Eastern European nations having been taken by NATO. Personal assurances from individual leaders cannot replace Alliance consensus and do not constitute a formal NATO agreement.

In addition, 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."

Moreover, at the time of the alleged promise, the Warsaw Pact still existed. Its members did not agree on its dissolution until 1991. The idea of their accession to NATO was not on the agenda in 1990.

Read similar cases claiming that NATO forgot all the previously existing agreements and expanded despite promises made to Gorbachev.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 171
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 28/10/2019
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Russia, US, Eastern Europe, USSR
  • Keywords: Mikhail Gorbachev, EU/NATO enlargement, Encircling Russia, NATO
  • Outlet: Sputnik Italia
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The US is so deeply divided that civil war and a coup d’état appear to be imminent

The US is so deeply divided that civil war and a coup d’état appear to be imminent.

Disproof

No evidence given to support the theory of imminent civil war and coup d’état in the US.

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about an imminent US civil war and/or massive social upheaval and state collapse in the US. Predictions about a new American civil war and a disintegration of the US have been a common pro-Kremlin narrative since the fall of the Soviet Union. One of the most popular theories was devised by Igor Panarin - a former Soviet KGB and Russian intelligence officer, a political science professor and author of influential studies on information warfare - who declared in 1998 that the United States would disintegrate into six nations around 2010.

The West dreams of tearing Belarus apart from Russia and to organise a Ukraine-like scenario

All talk about Belarus’ peaceful mission in Europe or about European Belarus are good chances for the West to tear Belarus apart from Russia and to wage a geopolitical war against Russia from Belarusian territory. The US and EU dream about an anti-Russian scenario in Belarus, similar to the one organised in Ukraine in 2014.

Disproof

This message is a conspiracy which is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about West-staged colour revolution in Ukraine and plans to do so in Belarus, about Western aggressiveness towards Belarus and Russia, and Western attempts to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations.

The EU has never staged, nor does it intend to stage, a colour revolution in Belarus or any other country. Nothing in the bilateral paths of cooperation suggests that the EU's goal is to make Belarus an anti-Russian country as alleged. Read more about the relations between the EU and Belarus here.

Belarus faces either normal development under Russia or a forced Polonization and economic devastation

It is no secret anymore that Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s political regime is quickly advancing towards the West. The policy of turning Belarus into second Ukraine, followed by the entry of Belarus into the sphere of the direct control of Washington, can happen, which will mean Russian loss. The main content of Lukashenka’s course is to impose a Ukrainian-like Belarusian nationalism. There is no other way for Belarus to drift away from Russia.

Generally, a belief that Belarusian ruling elite can preserve real sovereignty is a madness. Belarus can only move to the protectorate status either under the West or Russia. Its present state is temporary and transitional, and it came into existence as a result of the USSR collapse. However nowadays Russia is proceeding with geopolitical and geo-economic expansion, and Belarus will inevitably be pulled back. The story of a province named ‘Belarus’ that broke away from the USSR is just a private Lukashenka’s story. The time has come to make a geopolitical choice.

By becoming Russia’s protectorate Belarus will preserve its economic and cultural identity. In the case of West’s protectorate, Belarus will face economic devastation and forced Polonization by becoming Polish third-class agrarian colony. Under Belarusian sovereignty, the West means a total clean-up of Russian influence and status of anti-Russia.

Disproof

This message is based on ungrounded claims and a false dilemma about the direction of Belarus's political development. It is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about US-controlled Ukraine and Ukraine as a puppet state, about Western aggressiveness towards Belarus and Russia and Polish aggressive intentions in particular, and about Western attempts to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations. By naming Belarus a "breakaway USSR's province" the publication is also aimed at discrediting and undermining the Belarusian statehood.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Poland is preparing Euromaidan scenario for Belarus, that Belarus will turn into anti-Russia in case it does not deepen integration with Russia, that the West's only interest in Belarus is to make it anti-Russian, and putting forward a ridiculous false dilemma, claiming that the only possible scenario for Ukraine and Belarus to prevent their descent into Nazism through the politicisation of national clothes is to become a Russian western federal area.