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