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
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Lithuania, US
  • Keywords: Mikhail Gorbachev, EU/NATO enlargement, USSR, NATO
  • Outlet: baltnews.lt
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NATO is encircling Russia’s borders and creating an enemy image of Russia

We do not see a movement towards mutual security, but a movement in the opposite direction. The architecture of strategic stability is destroyed, and the security space is divided into individual fragments. One tries to replace the international legal system by the so-called ‘rule-based order’, the foreign policy (interests) formulated by a small group of Western countries.

NATO has expanded in several waves – it wants to be the source of legitimacy. Its military infrastructure has already reached Russia’s borders and NATO has intensively expanded its military potential in Eastern Europe, increased its arms spending to record levels and at the same time created an enemy image of Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO threatening Russia.

NATO is not encircling Russia. Russia's land border is just over 20,000 kilometres long. Of that, less than one-sixteenth (1,215 kilometres), is shared with NATO members. Russia has land borders with 14 countries. Only five of them are NATO members.

JIT ignores Russian arguments and data provided from Almay-Antey on MH17 downing

Some countries mentioned a sad incident, the tragedy with the Malaysian Boeing. And again our colleague said that Russia does not cooperate with the investigation, with the international investigation.

Firstly I want to state, no one asked Russia to cooperate in this JIT-group.

Secondly, the facts which Russia provided to this investigation JIT-group in terms of quantity and quality outbid any contributions that any other country made to this investigation. These are primary raw data from the radar, a field trial conducted by Almaz-Antey and much more.

But to the simple question: “Where are the data from the Ukrainian radar, where are the records of the Ukrainian dispatchers and where are the long promised satellite images of the USA – then nobody can answer us.”

Disproof

One of the many recurring and occasionally competing disinformation narratives around the downing of flight MH17.

The claims by Buk manufacturer Almaz-Antey were debunked already in 2015 by Bellingcat. Russia's interest in aiding the JIT investigation is not a relevant condition of its membership in JIT. The crash did not take place over Russian territory and claimed no Russian lives, which precludes any basis for Moscow to be represented in the JIT. Dutch Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke told a Russian newspaper that "if MH17 were shot down over Russia, I would have suggested that Russia be made a member of the JIT group."

The foreign policy of Poland is the reflection of the US policy

The words of President Duda about Russia show that Polish policy is the reflection of the US policy, a temporary adjustment to the current position of President Trump.

Disproof

A common pro-Kremlin narrative on “lost sovereignty” - in the case of Poland, this country is often presented as a “puppet-state” of the United States, which fully controls the domestic and foreign policy of this country.

Poland is a sovereign state, which shapes its own foreign and domestic policies. See other examples of this message claiming that Polish policy towards Ukraine is shaped by the Americansthe US keeps Poland on a short anti-Russian leash, and Poland is a Trojan Horse of the United States.