Disinfo: The US promised the whole world that NATO will not move one inch to the East

Summary

30 years ago, US Secretary of State James Baker promised the whole world – if Mikhail Gorbachev agrees to unite Germany, NATO will not move one inch to the East.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West encircling Russia via NATO and NATO enlargement. This promise was never made, as Mikhail Gorbachev, then-president of the Soviet Union has himself confirmed. 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. 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 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.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 176
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/12/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Lithuania, Russia
  • Keywords: Mikhail Gorbachev, USSR, EU/NATO enlargement, NATO
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Chemical attack in Douma fabricated by the White Helmets

The alleged fabricated chemical attack in Douma, Syria, was made by the so-called “White Helmets” group, that two of their previous affiliates, who refused to be made public, confirmed their leaders are directly linked to the “Army of Islam” and other terrorist groups that controlled the city at the time.

There is also the need to reveal the fate of the victims of the alleged incident.

Disproof

No reliable evidence that footage of people being treated in a hospital after the chemical weapons attack in Douma was fake.

Recurring disinformation narratives deflecting blame for chemical attacks from the Assad regime; painting the White Helmets as terrorists.

Ukraine was reluctant to achieve peace in Donbas

Over the last five years, the conflict [in Donbas] has not been resolved not because of the position of the “DPR” and “LPR”, but because of Kyiv’s reluctance to achieve a peaceful settlement.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the Minsk agreements and the War in Ukraine. Former and current presidents of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelenskyy, have made it clear that the strategic goal of Ukraine is to achieve peace in Donbas in the shortest possible term. Over the last five years, the Ukrainian government has tried to achieve the complete ceasefire via negotiations in the Minsk and Normandy formats. Ukraine has also proposed to send peacekeeping forces to Donbas. On 13 October 2019, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy underlined that “ending the war in Donbas” was a priority for the Ukrainian government. Moreover, recently Ukraine has fulfilled all preparatory steps, such as the withdrawal of troops on three sites, necessary to hold the meeting in the “Normandy format”, scheduled for 9 December 2019.

The war in Ukraine and in Afghanistan follow a similar pattern: the West ignores Russian or Soviet interests

The war in Ukraine and in Afghanistan follow a similar pattern: The West ignores Russian or Soviet interests directly in the country’s neighbourhood. The conflict over Ukraine and Crimea for more than five years seems to follow a similar pattern to that over Afghanistan 40 years ago: Western activities deliberately ignore Soviet or Russian interests directly in the country’s neighbourhood. When Moscow can no longer ignore this, and reacts to it, it is accused of exactly that, in both cases first and foremost by the USA. This is followed by one-sided blame, distraction from one’s own role and interests, and sanctions. [Context: The conflict over Crimea was a consequence of the coup in Kyiv in February 2014.]

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western belligerence towards Russia, Western attempts to encircle Russia, its involvement in the war in Ukraine, stating that the 2013-2014 Euromaidan protests resulted in an illegal coup; painting Ukraine and other states as failing states incapable of making its own policy choices and painting the West as the puppet-master of their politics. The Euromaidan was not organised by the West but was the sovereign choice of Ukrainians for pro-European development. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was an organic reaction by numerous segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. There was no coup d'état in Ukraine. After Yanukovych’s escape from Ukraine in 2014, Russia illegally annexed the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula. Also, the war in Eastern Ukraine is a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014. In late December 1979 Soviet troops invaded in Afghanistan after staging a coup against the incumbent President, Hafizulla Amin. The Soviet Union intervened in support of the Afghan communist government in its conflict with anticommunist Muslim guerrillas during the Afghan War (1978–92) and remained in Afghanistan until mid-February 1989. The war in Afghanistan became a quagmire for what by the late 1980s was the disintegrating Soviet Union. The Soviets suffered some 15,000 dead and many more injured; around 2 million Afghan civilians were killed during the war. In 1988 the United States, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Soviet Union signed an agreement by which the latter would withdraw its troops from the country.