Disinfo: NATO enlargement poses a threat to Russia

Summary

USSR and Warsaw Pact no longer exist but NATO not only exists but is developing as well. NATO enlargement and development of its infrastructure near Russian borders is one of the potential threats to Russia’s national security. Russia has done everything to cooperate with NATO in order to deal with real problems such as international terrorism, local military conflicts, uncontrolled spread of weapons of mass destruction. But Russia-NATO cooperation was actually cut.

Disproof

The statement contains multiple recurring pro-Kremlin narratives on NATO.

The first narrative is NATO as a relic of the Cold War. This narrative aims at undermining NATO's role as a defensive military alliance. Concerning the claim, that NATO is the relic of the Cold War, at the London Summit in 1990, Allied heads of state and government agreed "to keep standing together, to extend the long peace". This was their sovereign choice and was fully in line with their right for collective defence. Since then, thirteen more countries have chosen to join NATO. Twice since the end of the Cold War, NATO has adopted new Strategic Concepts (in 1999 and 2010), adapting to new realities. Thus, rather than being disbanded as a relic, NATO adapted, and continues to change, to live up to the needs and expectations of Allies, and to promote their shared vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace. See the identical case about NATO here.

The second narrative claims that NATO poses a threat to Russia. NATO has many time underlined that it is a purely defensive alliance, whose purpose is to protect its member states. In direct response to Russia's use of military force against its neighbours, NATO has deployed four multinational battle-groups to the Baltic States and Poland. These forces are rotational, defensive and proportionate. They cannot compare to the three divisions Russia has established in its Western Military and Southern Military Districts. Before Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea, there were no plans to deploy Allied troops to the eastern part of the Alliance. See other cases on NATO posing threat to Russia here, here and here.

The last narrative implies that NATO refused cooperation with Russia. NATO has reached out to Russia consistently, transparently and publicly over the past 29 years. NATO and Russia worked together on issues ranging from counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism to submarine rescue and civil emergency planning. However, in March 2014, in response to Russia's aggressive actions against Ukraine, NATO suspended practical cooperation with Russia.

The NATO - Russia Council is still active.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 176
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: security threat, EU/NATO enlargement, USSR
  • Outlet: Sputnik Abkhazia time 00:01 - 00:10; 00:31 - 1:04
see more

The only thing which keeps the members of NATO united is “Russophobia”

The only thing which keeps the members of NATO united is “Russophobia” and hostility towards Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia. It groundlessly alleges that NATO countries are kept together only thanks to consolidation around their anti-Russian positions.

NATO was founded in 1949 by twelve sovereign nations: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. It has since grown to 29 Allies who each took an individual and sovereign decision to join this Alliance. After the end of the Cold War until the 2014 Ukraine crisis, most US and Western policymakers no longer viewed Russia as an adversary, instead, taking the opinion that it could potentially become, or already was, a credible and responsible partner for Western states.

Russia is not an aggressor in case of Crimea

Russia is not an aggressor in case of Crimea, because 96 percent of Crimeans voted for joining Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

No international body has recognised the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014, and held on 16 March 2014.