Disinfo: NATO promised Russia it would not expand to the East

Summary

NATO promised Russia it would not expand to the East.

Russia has interest in stability between Lisbon and Vladivostok – not in wars. But Russia does not accept that NATO is expanding further and further eastwards. If one speaks of provocation and escalation dominance, it is NATO that is expanding eastwards, contrary to what was promised in 1990.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation that NATO had promised the Alliance would not expand to the East and that NATO is de facto aggressive. NATO allies take decisions by consensus and these are recorded. There is no record of any decision been taken by NATO about putting a halt to enlargement to the East. Personal assurances from individual leaders cannot replace Alliance consensus and do not constitute formal NATO agreements. Moreover, at the time of the alleged promise, the Warsaw Pact still existed, which by definition could not mean joining NATO by them. Its members did not agree on its dissolution until 1991. This was confirmed by Mikhail Gorbachev himself in an interview with Russia Beyond the Headlines:

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. Not a single Eastern European country raised the issue, not even after the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist in 1991. Western leaders didn't bring it up either.

Furthermore, the claim about NATO "expansion" misrepresents the process of NATO enlargement. NATO does not "expand" but considers the applications of candidate countries which want to join. See more disinformation cases on NATO.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 159
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/07/2019
  • Outlet language(s) German
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: security threat, West, Anti-Russian, EU/NATO enlargement, NATO, Russophobia
see more

Trading American weapons is one of the main goals of NATO's existence

Trading American weapons is one of the main goals of NATO’s existence.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO portraying it as an aggressive organization with intent to destroy the world order. NATO’s essential and enduring purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of all its members by political and military means. Collective defence is at the heart of the Alliance and creates a spirit of solidarity and cohesion among its members. The North Atlantic Treaty, the fundamental document of NATO states that any international disputes, in which NATO may participate, should be resolved by peaceful means in order to preserve international peace, security and justice. More Russian fakes about NATO can be read here, here and here.

The OPCW is in crisis, while Western countries are lying about chemical attacks in Syria

Western countries deliberately hide the details of the chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma on 7 April 2018, because the attack did not happen; this is another fake from the Western leadership. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons hides these facts, in order not to be the violator of international law.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria. In March 2019, the OPCW confirmed in its final report that chlorine was used in the attack on Douma, April 7, 2018. According to the Berlin Non-Profit Organisation Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), chemical weapons were used more than 300 times in Syria. Syrian government forces and their ally Russia continue to deny these facts. Read more about chemical attacks here and here.

European Council sanctions are irrational and unjustified

We must remember that the European Council is imposing irrational and unjustified sanctions on us [Russia].

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming both that international sanctions against Russia are not justified (see similar cases here and here) and that they produce no negative effects on Russia (similar cases here, here and here). All EU sanctions against Russia were imposed after major illegal actions by the Russian Federation, or against persons that have directly threatened the territorial integrity of Ukraine. The first round of EU sanctions against Russia was introduced on 17 March 2014. The first bans and asset freezes against persons involved in actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity followed Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. Later, in view of Russia's actions destabilising the situation in eastern Ukraine, the EU imposed economic sanctions in July 2014 and reinforced them in September 2014. In March 2015, the European Council linked the duration of those economic restrictions to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements. The EU remains ready to reverse its decisions and reengage with Russia when it starts contributing actively and without ambiguities to finding a solution to the crisis.