DISINFO: NATO leaders promised USSR not to expand eastwards
EU/NATO enlargement NATO security threat Military Mikhail Gorbachev Imperialism/colonialism

DISINFO: NATO leaders promised USSR not to expand eastwards


It is well known that politicians have short memories.

On the Western side, for example, we have absolutely no memory of the so-called promise of NATO's non-expansion to the East.

Promises have been made 30 years ago in exchange for loosening the Soviet grip on the Warsaw Pact countries. NATO officials deny it, though numerous pieces of archives prove it.


Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO enlargement.

RT brings up four documents that quote the words of James Backer, Manfred Woerner, James Major and Mans-Dietrich Genscher and says that many other documents prove such a promise was given by NATO and Western leaders. However, none of these quotes which do express some reservations against immediate NATO enlargement support RT's claims.

This claim has been debunked numerous times. NATO did not promise not to expand into eastern and central Europe back in 1990, which was confirmed by the former president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev. Back in 2014, Gorbachev said that “The topic of ‘NATO expansion was not discussed at all, and it wasn’t brought up in those years. I say this with full responsibility”.

Furthermore, the claim about NATO “expansion” misrepresents the process of NATO enlargement. NATO does not “expand” but considers the applications of candidate countries that want to join exercising their free will to decide alliance affiliation.

Read also similar cases: US promised that NATO would not expand eastwards beyond reunified Germany, NATO promises not to move eastward were not fulfilled, NATO violated its pledge not to move eastwards, At the end of the Cold War, the West promised that NATO will not move eastwards, NATO forgot promises not to enlarge to the East, The West promised that NATO will not move eastward, NATO promised not to expand further east, Gorbachev was promised that NATO would not "expand eastwards", It was agreed that NATO would never accept countries that border Russia, NATO has continuously expanded eastward despite promises made to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990, The West promised Moscow that NATO will not expand eastwards, Despite promises to the contrary, NATO has been expanding further eastwards, NATO illegally expanded to the borders of Russia, The US assured Gorbachev that NATO would not expand eastward


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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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