Disinfo: The US didn’t provide any proof that Russia violated the INF treaty

Summary

In October 2018, US President Donald Trump stated that the US would withdraw from the INF treaty due to Moscow’s violations of its commitments. However, the US didn’t provide any proof to support this claim.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that the US is entirely responsible for the demise of the INF Treaty, and that Russia was fully compliant with it. In July 2014, President Obama officially accused Russia of testing an intermediate-range land-launched missile in violation of the INF. Russia’s violations were also acknowledged by NATO Foreign Ministers in a meeting in Brussels on 4 December 2018. NATO allies share the US government’s assessment that Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security. The US gathered detailed information on Russia’s flight-testing of the 9M792 missile to distances well over 500 kilometers, in violation of the INF, and provided Moscow with evidence about the 9M729’s violations, including geographic coordinates and dates for the tests. Russia has continually denied any wrongdoing. In a statement released on 1 February 2019, the North Atlantic Council noted that Russia had “taken no demonstrable steps toward returning to full and verifiable compliance” and that “Russia will bear sole responsibility for the end of the Treaty.” In February 2019, the US suspended its participation in the INF Treaty, stressing that nearly 6 years of diplomacy and more than 30 meetings have failed to convince Russia to return to compliance with the INF Treaty. On 3 July 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a federal law on the suspension of the INF Treaty. On 5 July 2019, the Russia-NATO Council was held, following which Secretary-General of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, said that NATO and the Kremlin have fundamental differences in this matter. More disinformation cases on the INF treaty can be found here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 158
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/07/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Czech
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Russia
  • Keywords: INF Treaty, Missile defence system, Nuclear issues, NATO
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US is using protests in Georgia to take control of Anaklia Port

The protests in Tbilisi have an external component. A confrontation between countries to receive control over Georgia’s Anaklia deep-sea port has a geopolitical dimension. Even the most cautious steps taken by Tbilisi to build a dialogue with Moscow cause nervousness in Washington. It is evident that Anaklia will be developing not only as a logistical facility, but also as a naval base. This will accelerate Georgia’s integration into Euro-Atlantic structures. As a result, the US and NATO ships will be stationed close to the Russian borders, including Crimea and Abkhazia. Washington in playing out its Georgian strategy.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US presence in Europe. The Anaklia deep-sea port has been a target of pro-Kremlin disinformation for a long time. Over the past months, Russian and pro-Russian actors have been continuously raising the issue of construction of deep-sea ports in Georgia. These actors voice that the Anaklia Port is unacceptable for Russia, that it is designed for US and NATO military bases and that Georgia does not need deep-sea ports. The Anaklia Port, however, is a Georgian initiative intended as a step toward developing the country's logistical infrastructure. The project is commercial and aims to create a world-class port complex for Georgia. See disinformation narratives on the Anaklia deep-sea port here and here. More about pro-Russian disinformation narratives around Anaklia Port is here.

EU countries' economies are on the brink of default, with over 20% unemployment rates

Some EU countries teeter on the brink of default and the levels of unemployment in some EU member states exceed 20%. At the same time Belarus, a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, is famous for its extremely low level of unemployment, clean and accurate towns and villages, the absence of oligarchs, lawlessness, arbitrariness of officials, and free from many other shortcomings of transit economies.

Disproof

This message contains ungrounded statements concerning the economic performance of the EU member states. It is consistent with a common pro-Kremlin narrative about the EU's imminent collapse. In May 2019, EU-28 unemployment stood at 6.3 %, the lowest level since the start of the EU monthly unemployment series in January 2000. The highest unemployment rates among EU countries in May 2019 were registered in Greece (18,1%) and Spain (13,6%). In the rest of the EU member states it was less than 10%, the lowest in the Czech Republic, Germany, and the Netherlands with 2,2%, 3,1% and 3,3%, respectively, according to Eurostat statistics. The authors is deliberately mixing up youth unemployment figures with overall rates. The registered unemployment rate in Belarus on 1 June 2019 was as low as 0,3%, as reported by the Belarusian Telegraph Agency. However, Belarus' official unemployment rate is a result of calculations rather than economic achievements. According to Belarusian legislation, the unemployed are the working age residents who are registered with the state employment agency. As the unemployment benefits in Belarus are very meagre, the unemployed are supposed to carry out public works as directed by the employment agency and as enterprises normally do not notify state agencies about better-paid vacancies, most of the unemployed choose not to undergo the registration procedure and therefore are not accounted in official statistics. Occasional surveys conducted in accordance with the International Labour Organisation’s methodology suggest that real unemployment rates in Belarus exceed 5%. The claim that economies of a number of EU countries face default is ungrounded. At present, no EU country has a credit rating low enough to justify that claim. In fact, the ranking shows that Belarus' credit rating is lower than any of the EU's member states and is much lower than the EU's. The EU as a whole enjoys a very high credit rating. It is rated AAA/Aaa/AAA/AAA (outlook stable) by Fitch, Moody’s, DBRS and Scope and AA (outlook stable) by Standard & Poor’s. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the current socio-economic situation of Poland is worse than in the communist times and that the EU countries face 'total unemployment'.

Belarus is under 'colour revolution' pressure from the West and global influence groups

The irresponsible policies of Western governments and oligarchs have resulted in a planetary crisis. Only the preservation of Belarusian traditions and values can overcome this. Many global political and economic processes are managed by trans-border ‘influence groups’ who only care about their own benefits and disregard any national interests. For instance, the Ukrainians made one-sided concessions to the EU and the US without getting a say in the issues of mutual interest. Even the EU’s visa free regime for Ukrainians is just a fig leaf to cover the geopolitical intentions of Western governments and oligarchs. Belarus-related policies of Western politicians are also often dictated by global influence groups. This is why Belarusians have to be ideologically and technologically prepared to withstand this pressure and to disrupt their scenarios, be they orange, velvet, or brown.

Disproof

This message contains common pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Shadow Government narratives, the Western attempts to instigate colour revolutions in EU neighbourhood countries, including Belarus, and about Ukraine's lost sovereignty. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that global neo-colonialists stage colour revolutions and conquer indigenous national elites, the West attempted to stage at least 6 colour revolutions in Belarus, and that the EU may cancel the visa-free regime due to the measles epidemic in Ukraine.