Disinfo: NATO wants return to Cold War conditions

Summary

NATO wants the conditions of the Cold War back.

NATO has doubled its power within six years not far from Russia’s borders. The North Atlantic Alliance wants the conditions of the Cold War back: military facilities in Eastern Europe are being strengthened, missile defence facilities are being expanded.

The NATO group in the Baltic States will certainly not diminish. This kind of cooperation with the USA is too convenient for the rulers in the Baltic states. It demonstrates to voters that efforts are being made to counter the ‘threat from Russia’, thereby concealing all other issues such as the miserable economic development, the under-utilised Baltic ports, the resentment of the Russian-speaking minorities.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, portraying NATO as having a belligerent agenda against Russia and claiming that the “Russian threat” is a false idea.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has introduced sweeping changes to its membership and working practices – changes made clear by its adoption of new Strategic Concepts in 1999 and 2010. Accusations that NATO has retained its Cold War purpose ignore the reality of those changes.

Over the same period, NATO reached out to Russia with a series of partnership initiatives, culminating in the foundation of the NATO-Russia Council in 2002. No other country outside the Alliance has such a privileged relationship with NATO.

As reaffirmed by NATO leaders at the Brussels Summit in July 2018, "NATO does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia." This is NATO's official policy, defined and expressed transparently by its highest level of leadership. As an organisation which is accountable to its member nations, NATO is bound to implement this policy.

Moreover, Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and destabilisation of Eastern Ukraine in early 2014 was widely viewed both in North America and in Europe as violating the basic rules of the post-Cold War European order, especially the rule that borders are inviolable and the states should not use force to alter them or take territory from other states. As a result of Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine, many Western states have critically reassessed their “strategic partnership” policies towards Russia and began to view Russia as a serious challenge to the European security order. Josep Borrell writes:

We live in a world where interdependence is becoming more and more conflictual, in particular with the growing strategic rivalry between the US and China. We also see a broader trend towards competition between countries and systems, especially with some of our neighbours such as Russia and Turkey who seem to want to return to a logic of empires.

In 2014, NATO leaders at the Wales Summit adopted the Readiness Action Plan, a comprehensive package of enhanced collective defence and deterrent measures designed to ensure the transatlantic alliance could respond swiftly and firmly to changes in its security environment.

Read similar disinfo cases alleging that the idea that Russia is a threat to Europe exists only in the minds of Cold War nostalgics and that NATO is an ineffective relic of the Cold War.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 212
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Russia, Lithuania, US
  • Keywords: security threat, New Cold War, West, Anti-Russian, Sergey Shoigu, NATO, Baltic states

Disclaimer

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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Disproof

Reservations and criticism of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine are caused by the fact that Russia didn’t complete large trials to test the vaccine’s safety and efficacy before releasing it. Rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could endanger people who receive it. In fact, there is evidence that Russia has at all times perceived the development of a coronavirus vaccine mainly in terms of geopolitical and economic gain.

The article is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, launched after its announcement was met with scepticism and criticism, even by Russian specialists in the country. See other examples in our database, such as claims that the UK launched a smear campaign against it; that the WHO confirmed that the Sputnik V was on Phase 3 of clinical testing; that the WHO and Microsoft sabotaged the Russian vaccine; that Europe is turning to Russia due to its desperate need for a vaccine; or that the West criticises the Sputnik V because it can’t accept Russia’s primacy and because its pharmaceutical companies will lose billions of dollars.

The US and Europe face multiple deaths out of fear to admit Russia’s success against coronavirus

The US and Europe face multiple deaths out of fear to admit Russia’s success. Western elites have considered Russia as an enemy for a long time, and this rivalry can be observed in all fronts. However, the US and the EU are in no rush to admit their defeat, even when the life of their people is at risk. Even the high mortality of the coronavirus pandemic is not pushing the West to improve relations with Moscow. After Russian scientists announced that they could create a vaccine against the disease, western elites are trying that the public doesn’t believe on it. This approach can cause numerous deaths, only because they don’t want to admit that Russia was the first country to create a medicine against the coronavirus and overcame the collective West in the scientific race.

Disproof

This is a mix of several recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about an alleged anti-Russian bias in the West and prejudices against Russia’s greatness. Contrary to the claim, reservations and criticism of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine are not caused by a Western refusal to accept Russia’s alleged primacy and success but because Russia didn’t complete large trials to test the vaccine’s safety and efficacy before releasing it, and rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could endanger people who receive it.

The article is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, launched after its announcement was met with scepticism and criticism, even by Russian specialists in the country. See other examples in our database, such as claims that the UK launched a smear campaign against it; that the WHO confirmed that the Sputnik V was on Phase 3 of clinical testing; that the WHO and Microsoft sabotaged the Russian vaccine; that Europe is turning to Russia due to its desperate need for a vaccine; or that the West criticises the Sputnik V because it can’t accept Russia’s primacy and because its pharmaceutical companies will lose billions of dollars.

Russia’s Avangard missile system can devastate US defences, The National Interest says

Russia’s Avangard missile system can devastate US defences, The National Interest says. This US magazine, specialised in security, published a text by publicist Peter Suciu about what the creation of the Russian hypersonic unit Avangard means for the US. The author of the publication mentions that Avangard has hypersonic speed and is able to maneuver in the atmosphere. It quotes China’s official stance, that the Avangard equipped with nuclear heads can “devastate” US defences.

Disproof

This is a deliberate distortion of the original article in The National Interest, titled “Is the Russian Avangard Hypersonic ICBM a Serious Threat?”, where author Peter Suciu says that it is “reported [for the Avangard] to have both hypersonic speed and an ability to fly a ‘maneuvering’ flight path through the atmosphere”, but, contrary to the claim, he doesn’t affirm it himself. Also, the alleged quote about China’s official stance is also manipulated: it is a reference to a previous article in The Eurasian Times where China praises the capabilities of the missile, but where the description of its “devastating” effects is done by a Russian military official, Major General Vladimir Popov, not by the Chinese authorities.

Pro-Kremlin media frequently resort to this manipulative technique of quoting sentences from serious publications and then introducing a distorted message as if it was part of the original article, in this case to promote a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russia’s military might. See other examples in our database, such as false claims that British outlet The Guardian pointed to ruling elite as the real instigators of the racial crisis in the US and reported that the EU remained silent as the Europeans couldn’t buy food for the first time in 75 years; that Newsweek magazine explained how the US coup in Iran will end; that Soros’ structures in the media and think tanks saw an opportunity in the coronavirus pandemic to attack the “bad guys”; that the US National Counterintelligence and Security Centre put Wikileaks at the same threat level as jihadist organisations in its last report; or that the US special envoy for Syria admitted that Washington’s goal was to defend terrorists from Russian attacks.