DISINFO: “Russian threat” is an invention of the West and NATO in order to expand eastwards
  • Outlet: Sputnik Germany (archived)*
  • Date of publication: January 23, 2020
  • Outlet language(s): German
  • Reported in: Issue 186
  • Countries / regions discussed: US, Russia
security threat West Anti-Russian EU/NATO enlargement NATO Russophobia

DISINFO: “Russian threat” is an invention of the West and NATO in order to expand eastwards


Saying that Russia wants to destroy the EU or NATO is naive and perhaps suitable for mass media.

Why did the first wave of NATO’s eastward expansion occur? Russia was struggling to survive at the time. So what were NATO’s reasons back then? In retrospect, attempts were made to construct a security risk from Russia. Do you really think Russia would invade the Baltic States? What should Russia do with Lithuania?


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the “Russian threat” is a false idea created and spread by NATO to encircle and weaken Russia.

NATO does not "expand" in the imperialistic sense described by pro-Kremlin media. Rather, it considers the applications of candidate countries who want to join the alliance based on their own national will. As such, NATO enlargement is not directed against Russia. NATO's "Open Door Policy" is based on Article 10 of the Alliance's founding document, the North Atlantic Treaty (1949). The Treaty states that NATO membership is open to any "European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area". Every sovereign nation has the right to choose its own security arrangements. This is a fundamental principle of European security and one to which Russia has also subscribed.

Since the illegal annexation of Crimea, NATO has been genuinely concerned about the security challenges posed by Russia to Transatlantic security.

Read more similar cases alleging that NATO exploits non-existent “Russian threat” to increase its presence close to Russian borders and that the Russian threat is ‘an invention’ of those who want to benefit from it.


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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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