Disinfo: NATO represents a threat to Russian security

Summary

NATO was formed to confront the Soviet Union. There is now neither the Soviet Union nor the Warsaw Treaty, that is, the military alliance established in response to the creation of NATO. However, NATO is still present and even expanding. At the moment of its formation, the Alliance included 12 countries, but the number of members now is 29, while the total military spending of the alliance exceeds 70% of global military spending. Today we must start from the fact that NATO expansion and infrastructure development near the Russian border represent one of the potential threats to our country’s security.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Western attempts to encircle Russia and portraying military exercises as security threats.

The claim that NATO is encircling Russia is one of the myths about NATO. Russia's land border is just over 20,000 kilometres long. Of that, less than one-sixteenth (1,215 kilometres), is shared with NATO members. Russia has land borders with 14 countries. Only five of them are NATO members. Outside NATO territory, the Alliance only has a military presence in two places: Kosovo and Afghanistan.

NATO poses no threat to Russia. All Allies reaffirmed at the Brussels Summit that "the Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia". NATO is a defensive alliance. Its purpose is to protect the member states. NATO's exercises and military deployments are not directed against Russia, Belarus or any other country. NATO does not seek confrontation, but it cannot ignore Russia breaking international rules, undermining stability and security. See more for NATO's response to the crisis in Ukraine and security concerns in Central and Eastern Europe here.

For further disinformation cases on NATO's desire to expand its presence near Russia and to attack it, see here and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 177
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: Encircling Russia, EU/NATO enlargement, NATO
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International Tribunal will consider Ukrainian provocation in the Kerch Strait

The Ukrainian provocation in the Kerch Strait in 2018 will be considered at an international tribunal. The initiator of this was the representation of Crimea in Brussels.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that Ukrainian ships aggressively violated Russian borders in 2018 and thatit was a provocation of the fifth president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. There is no official representation of annexed Crimea in Brussels. The Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine emphasised that the organisation is self-proclaimed and that the EU is not going to cooperate with accomplices of the occupying authorities of the Ukrainian peninsula. "The European Union fully supports the independence of Ukraine, its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Therefore, our position on such news is very clear: we will never recognise the self-proclaimed representations, institutions or the power of the annexed Crimea. We have no desire to cooperate with them, in any way or in any format," said David Stulik, press officer of the EU Delegation to Ukraine. Also, there are no other formal legal proceedings between Ukraine and Russia other than the case in the UN International Court of the Law of the Sea. At ameeting in Hamburg on 25 May 2019, the UN Court ordered Russia toimmediately release 24 captured Ukrainian sailors, as well as return the Berdyansk, Nikopol, and Yany-Kapu warships to Ukraine.

Europe is losing its values and former power

There were times when European countries were developing very quickly, both economically and culturally, but now Europe is losing its values and former power.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative undermining the EU, claiming that the EU is fundamentally broken and disintegrating - also consistent with the narrative of the EU's imminent collapse. No evidence is given to support the claim that Europe is losing its values and former power. The European Parliament’s Spring 2019 Eurobarometer, measuring public attitudes to the EU three months ahead of the European elections, reveals that despite the various internal and external challenges to the EU of the past years, the European sense of togetherness does not seem to have weakened. Continued support for EU membership goes with a strong belief (68%) that EU countries overall have benefited from being part of the EU - equalling the highest level recorded since 1983. In addition, 61% of respondents say their country’s EU membership is a good thing.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the European Union expanded 1.30 percent in the third quarter of 2019 compared with the same quarter of the previous year.

Crimea and Sevastopol are irreversibly Russian

Crimea became part of Russia again after the March 2014 referendum, with 96.77 percent of voters in the Republic of Crimea and 95.6 percent of Sevastopol’s people voting in favour of joining Russia. This was after the overthrow of the regime in Ukraine in February 2014.

The Russian leadership has stated many times that the people of Crimea have expressed their desire to rejoin Russia, in a democratic process that fully complies with the requirements of international law and the Charter of the United Nations. According to President Vladimir Putin, the Crimea issue is complete and irreversibly closed.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Crimea and Sevastopol.

Crimea is part of Ukraine that was illegally annexed by Russia. Following the covert invasion by “little green men”, the referendum in Crimea was conducted hastily and at gunpoint, barring impartial observers from entering the peninsula. Therefore, no international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on the 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014.