Disinfo: NATO exploits the idea of a “Russian threat” to deploy near Russian borders

Summary

NATO is very much aware that Moscow has no intention of attacking anyone, but NATO exploits the “Russian threat” as a pretext for deploying more military personnel and equipment near Russian borders. The “Russian threat” is periodically used as a bogeyman by politicians of some NATO countries, particularly Poland and the Baltic states. Moscow has repeatedly stressed that Russia will never attack any NATO country.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the “Russian threat” is a false idea, created by the US and other Western actors to isolate and encircle Russia. According to this narrative, the US and NATO have deliberately created a false image of an aggressive Russia. The article repeats a particular version of this narrative claiming that the “imaginary Russian threat” is only a pretext for stationing more NATO military contingents near Russian borders.

NATO’s concern about Russia’s security challenges to the alliance is genuine and not a pretext for stationing more NATO military resources near Russia’s borders. Ever since the 2014 Ukraine crisis, NATO and Western governments have been genuinely concerned about Russia’s increasingly aggressive foreign and military policies and about the challenges posed by Russia to Transatlantic security.

Until the Ukraine crisis, NATO consistently worked to build a cooperative relationship with Russia. For more than 20 years after the end of the Cold War, NATO's strategy was based on the perception that Russia no longer posed a security threat and should increasingly be viewed as a partner for the Alliance.

This perception changed after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and destabilisation of Eastern Ukraine in early 2014, which was was widely viewed both in North America and in Europe as violating the basic rules of the post-Cold War European order, especially the rule that borders are inviolable and the states should not use force to alter them or take territory from other states. As a result of Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine, many Western states - including key EU members such as Germany and France critically reassessed their “strategic partnership” policies towards Russia and began to perceive Russia as a serious challenge to the European security order while Poland and the Baltic states perceived Russian intervention in Ukraine as a clear threat to their national security.

Moreover, in the past six years European governments and security services have been increasingly concerned about Russian hostile influence activities aimed at weakening the EU and NATO, fermenting divisions in societies and discrediting and destabilising liberal democracies. Such activities – often described as “hybrid threats” – include cyber-attacks, disinformation campaigns, interference in political processes, energy pressures, intelligence operations, the strategic use of corruption and the deployment of unmarked military personnel.

Read similar cases claiming that the US has created a false image of an aggressive Russia in order to prevent close Europe-Russia economic cooperation and that the idea of a Russian threat to Europe exists only in the minds of Cold War nostalgics or is a deliberate invention of certain countries.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 218
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/10/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Russia, Baltic states, Poland
  • Keywords: Military, Encircling Russia, Russophobia, NATO

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.

see more

Ukraine became a colony to the US after the successful colour revolution of Euromaidan

Euromaidan in Kyiv was a successful colour revolution with the support of US politicians. After that, both the internal and external politics of the country were governed by the Americans with the leadership of Joe Biden – Ukraine became a colony to the US.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine, which is often claimed to be under external control from the US, NATO, the EU, or IMF consistent with the pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives framing popular protests as Western-led colour revolutions. No evidence is given.

Ukraine is a sovereign state. The US or its political leaders, either from the Democratic or the Republican party, do not control Ukraine. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by most of the free world, confirmed by the resolutions of the United Nations, but violated by Russia.

Foreign financial support to Maia Sandu could go up to US $ 18 million

Maia Sandu does not mention the foreign support that was allocated to her for the presidential campaign. According to various experts, this assistance could reach an astronomical $ 18 million, most of which is scattered in the form of grants to dozens of organisations and individuals, some of which directly donate to her campaign, the rest directly propagandise in her favour or “wipe out” her main rival, the current president.

Disproof

The claim is advanced without any evidence. A recurring disinformation narrative about pro-Western candidates in the elections in the post-Soviet space, in this case in Moldova, claiming that they are sponsored from abroad.

In Moldova, the financing of parties from foreign sources is prohibited and if such violation is detected, the candidates are excluded from the election campaign.

The West intends to cut Belarus from Russia

With the support of the Polish and Lithuanian elites in Belarus, they (the opposition) are once again trying to spark a riot under the pretext that Lukashenko refused to resign in favour of Tikhanovskaya. But Lukashenko’s resignation and re-election are not the ultimate goal of the West. The instigators of the coup will still not tolerate the rise to power of a pro-Russian president in Belarus, even if he wins the most democratic elections.

The purpose of the protests is not to remove Lukashenko, but to bring to power those who will oust Belarus from Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the protests in Belarus and Western attempts to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations.

There is no evidence that Poland, the Baltic states, nor any other Western governments are involved in organising and funding the protests in Belarus, nor that they are conducting any activities aimed at destabilising Belarus. The protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential elections that took place on 9 August, which are considered fraudulent by a large part of Belarusian society.