Disinfo: The war between Russia and NATO will break out in the Baltic Sea

Summary

The US Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments stated in its recent report that the conflict between Russia and NATO is likely to lead to a military conflict in the Baltic Sea.

Disproof

An often repeated narrative about the approaching conflict between Russia and NATO. In fact, the cited report resume explicitly says that “a major conflict between NATO and Russia remains unlikely”. The report itself mentions no upcoming war between Russia and the NATO in the Baltic Sea, but speaks about the necessary precautions to strengthen the defence capabilities of the NATO members in the area (see p. 30 - 35).

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 143
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/03/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Polish
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Baltic states, Russia
  • Keywords: Baltic sea, War preparation, NATO

Belarus

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US general confirms Washington is obsessed with preventive nuclear strike policy

The United States is obsessed about the right to use nuclear weapons first. Washington must not abandon the preventive strike policy, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford said in the Senate.

Disproof

A recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative on Western Militarism. The implicit messagt that Washington is more trigger-happy than Moscow in this regard constitutes disinformation. As mutually assured destruction remains the pillar of the nuclear deterrence strategy since the Cold War era, neither the United States in its latest Nuclear Posture Review nor Russia in its Military Doctrine have adopted the No First Use policy. The only nuclear powers to have pledged not to use nuclear weapons first are China and India. Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen Dunford, asked if the United States must adopt the No First Use policy with respect to nuclear weapons, said [49:30-50:08 mins of the video] that the “current policy complicates an adversary’s decision-making process. I would not recommend any changes that simplifies an adversary’s decision-making calculus.”

EU to introduce visas for US citizens in 2021

The EU has decided to introduce visas for the US citizens in 2021 to improve security and avoid problems with illegal migration and terrorism.

Disproof

The EU is not planning to introduce visas for the US citizens in 2021. The EU will put into operation the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) in 2021. The ETIAS is intended for citizens of all 61 nations which currently enjoy visa-free travel to the Schengen Zone, who will need to register on ETIAS website before travelling to the EU. It will be a “completely electronic system which allows and keeps track of visitors” from countries whose citizens are eligible to travel to the Schengen Zone without visas. Those visitors will need to fill out an ETIAS online form and receive an electronic authorization.

Venezuela bustling with life, contrary to mainstream narratives

While the mainstream media continue to portray Venezuela as a crisis-stricken and impoverished country, the actual situation there is far from grave. The UN claim that 3.4 million Venezuelans have fled the country is disputable; last year, school enrolment actually increased by 7%, and 120,000 Colombians settled in Venezuela. Western media outlets focus on hyperinflation and its impact on the country’s living standards, but never mention that many goods and services are still cheap.

Disproof

The story accuses mainstream media outlets of producing alarmist reports on the situation in Venezuela and demonizing President Nicolas Maduro, and thus fits the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the situation in the country. The estimate of 3.4 million Venezuelan emigrants was jointly produced by the UN's Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Institute of Migration (IOM), and is based on data from national immigration authorities and other sources. Primary school enrolment has actually declined since the onset of the economic crisis in 2013, dropping 7% by 2017. During that period, the number of out-of-school children doubled and has likely continued to rise, as parents increasingly struggle to furnish their children with basic school supplies. The most recent Venezuelan census (published in 2011) put the number of Colombian-born residents of Venezuela at just under 722,000 (p. 41). The alleged influx of 120,000 Colombians in 2018 is difficult to verify, particularly given the Maduro government's habit of manipulating demographic data. In 2015, President Maduro reported that a whopping 5.6 million Colombians resided in the country, whereas the IOM estimated the 2015 figure at less than 1 million (p. 76). Between mid-2017 and mid-2018, 250,000-300,000 Colombians left Venezuela according to UNHCR and Colombia Migration, citing respectively the progress in Colombian peace talks and the worsening living conditions in Venezuela. Hyperinflation has rendered nearly all goods in Venezuela prohibitively expensive, as consistently noted in RT's pre-2019 reporting.

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