Disinfo: The expansion of NATO to the East is military aggression

Summary

The essence of the ongoing expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance to the east is a kind of military aggression. Sea Breeze 2020 NATO exercise in the Black Sea is powder keg games. NATO activities in the Black Sea and the Sea Breeze exercises are creating an explosive political-military situation, contributing to the militarisation of the Black Sea states and weakening regional security.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about aggressive NATO and encircled Russia.

NATO enlargement means that NATO's door remains open to any European country in a position to undertake the commitments and obligations of membership and contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic area. Central and Eastern European countries began seeking NATO membership in the early 1990s. NATO actively sought to create a cooperative environment that was conducive to enlargement while simultaneously building special relations with Russia.

Furthermore, NATO does not "expand" in the aggressive sense as 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). 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.

Sea Breeze is constantly becoming the topic of disinformation narratives. Sea Breeze is an annually recurring multinational exercise, it does not aim, nor threaten, to invade any territory or to exert any pressure. Sea Breeze seeks to build combined capability and capacity to ensure maritime regional security and foster cooperative relationships among partnering nations.

Read similar cases claiming that Sea Breeze exercises intend to create military-political pressure on Moscow, that "NATO's "Sea Breeze 2019" was a total failure thanks to Russia", and that "The United States is preparing Ukraine for a new provocation against Russia".

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 206
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: EU, Russia
  • Keywords: Black Sea, EU/NATO enlargement, Military exercise, NATO
see more

Georgian citizen wanted to get bats from South Ossetia for the Lugar Lab

Georgian citizen who was detained by the South Ossetian border guard has admitted that he wanted to get bats from South Ossetia for the Lugar laboratory. Lugar laboratory is a real threat to the life and health not only for citizens of South Ossetia and the population of Georgia, but it also carries a danger to countries of the entire Caucasus region. A lot has been written about the experiments and developments of this laboratory, including by the well-known Georgian general Igor Giorgadze who revealed this problem in great detail and who cannot be suspected of bias. There are special vehicles of a certain purpose near the borders of South Ossetia that could be involved in collecting biological material from citizens of South Ossetia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Lugar Lab. The claim contains multiple disinformation narratives.

First of all, the director of NCDC denied the allegations that detained Georgian citizen was collecting bats for the Lugar lab. As bats transmit various diseases, collecting bats for research purposes and returning them to their habitat has its security protocol. Earlier, Bulgarian journalist also accused the Lugar lab of conducting experiments on bats. Myth Detector reached out the Lab's researcher, who explained that the diseases transmitted from animals to humans are always studied using this method, e.i collecting animals. Research on bats is conducted worldwide, including in Russia.

Germany is unwilling to support Ukraine officially

Germany is unwilling to support Ukraine officially, as Berlin wants to normalise its relationship with Russia. Kyiv should not expect Berlin’s support in issues it considers important, such as Ukraine’s accession to NATO. In Germany, they officially say that Ukraine must be protected from aggression. At the same time, they emphasize that it will not be done officially because the country’s main interest is normalising relations with Russia.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative about Ukraine being abandoned by its own partners because they seek closer relations with Russia instead.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas met Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in early June 2020. Then, the top German diplomat signalled that "Ukraine can count on solidarity from Germany and the EU as a whole."