DISINFO: NATO maneuvres in Europe are organised to create zones of tension for Moscow
  • Outlet: ru.armeniasputnik.am (archived)*
  • Date of publication: January 25, 2021
  • Outlet language(s): Russian
  • Reported in: Issue 231
  • Countries / regions discussed: Russia
Military exercise Encircling Russia NATO

DISINFO: NATO maneuvres in Europe are organised to create zones of tension for Moscow


In February, the Americans, Norwegians, as well as the Dutch and the British, about ten thousand fighters in total, will take part in the large-scale Joint Viking 2021 maneuvers. Joint Viking exercises are held annually. The Pentagon is artificially aggravating the situation as the US and NATO stubbornly refuse to abandon their claims to the Arctic.

The exercises of the Marines will be offensive, not defensive. They will also work out actions against Russia. If we analyse the NATO maneuvers in Europe as a whole, it is clear that they are organised to create zones of tension for Moscow.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO allegedly pursuing a belligerent and hostile agenda against Russia and the military exercise Joint Viking 2021. The exercise was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every nation has the right to conduct exercises, but it is important that they are conducted transparently and in line with international obligations.

NATO is a defensive alliance, whose purpose is to protect its member states. During the Warsaw summit in July 2016, NATO has made it clear that:

"The Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia".

NATO's exercises and military deployments are not directed against Russia – or any other country. Exercises are designed to ensure that NATO forces are trained, able to operate together and ready to respond to any threat from any direction. Anyway, Norway has recently cancelled Allied exercises over COVID-19 safety concerns.

For more information about NATO-Russia relations and disinformation narratives about NATO, see here and here.

See other examples of disinformation about NATO in our database, such as its never-ending provocations, its attempts to block Moscow in its sphere of influence, that Military exercises, like Defender 2020, are directed against Russia, that the Sea Breeze exercises are directed against Russia, or NATO exercises in Estonia are an unfriendly message addressed to Russia and that NATO’s politicians use Defender Europe 2020 as an opportunity to escalate tensions with Russia.


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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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