Disinfo: NATO seeks to control the Azov Sea


The construction of the Ukrainian naval base on Azov is an attempt by the West to create a new international problem, as well as a zone of military tension near Russian borders. The Ukrainian Navy is a tool for implementing the plans of the US and NATO. Responsibility for the escalation of conflicts related to the unilateral militarisation of the Azov Sea, internal for Russia and Ukraine, will be equally shared by Kyiv, Brussels, and Washington. Kyiv is not able to make independent strategic decisions. It is not Ukraine, but NATO that seeks to control the Azov Sea.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine and the Azov Sea, the aggressive West, NATO encircling Russia and NATO belligerence. This is consistent with the narratives challenging Ukrainian statehood and painting the US and NATO as the puppet-masters of Ukrainian politics.

Ukraine is a sovereign state. Neither the US, nor NATO, control Ukraine. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity continue to be violated by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014. Despite NATO having refuted such claims many times,  pro Kremlin propaganda systematically states that NATO planned to create military bases on the territory of Ukraine: in Crimea, Donbass, and now in the Sea of Azov. A bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty are considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine. A treaty stipulates that agreement from each of the two littoral countries is required for warships from any other country to enter the internal sea.

It is worth recalling, that on November 2018, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tugboat and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen and arresting 24 members. As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated: "Now, Russia is attempting to use Crimea to expand its influence. And control the Sea of Azov."




  • Reported in: Issue 193
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, US
  • Keywords: Azov sea, Military, West, Encircling Russia, NATO


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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