DISINFO: NATO expansion to increase tension in the region
Russia considers NATO’s expansion as a breeding ground for the aggravation of tension and further militarisation of the region. It will not help enhance security, including that of NATO’s member states.
This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets claiming that Finland and Sweden's future membership of NATO will aggravate the security situation in Europe.
In reality, Finland and Sweden are applying for NATO membership to enhance their security as Russia continues its war of aggression against Ukraine. By joining the alliance, these countries want to feel safer and protect themselves against a possible Russian attack. NATO does not consider itself to be a threat to Russia. The Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation signed in 1997 stipulates that “NATO and Russia do not consider each other as adversaries.” The alliance is primarily a political organisation which aims at solving conflicts by peaceful means. It has taken part in several peacekeeping operations.
Opinion polls in both Finland and Sweden have shown increasing popular support for NATO membership. The number of NATO supporters in Finland grew from 53 per cent in February 2022 to 62 per cent in March and 76 per cent in May. In Sweden, 57 per cent of respondents favoured NATO membership in late April compared to 51 per cent in March.
It is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which has increased tension in the region and the entire world. Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian sea ports can cause a humanitarian catastrophe as millions of people in some countries depend on Ukrainian grain exports.
Read more disinformation cases about Finland and Sweden’s future NATO membership.