Disinfo: The West promised Moscow that NATO will not expand eastwards

Summary

The West promised Moscow in the course of the negotiations on German unification in 1990 that NATO will not expand eastwards.

In the book, the Swiss historian Daniele Ganser also discusses NATO’s eastward expansion, although the West promised Moscow in the course of the negotiations on German unification in 1990 that it would not come to that.

 

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that NATO had promised Russia not to expand to the East and that NATO has an aggressive agenda.

NATO allies take decisions by consensus and these are recorded. There is no record of any decision been taken by NATO about putting a halt to enlargement to the East. Personal assurances from individual leaders cannot replace Alliance consensus and do not constitute formal NATO agreements. Moreover, at the time of the alleged promise, the Warsaw Pact still existed, which by definition precluded any member of The Pact joining NATO. Its members did not agree on its dissolution until 1991. This was confirmed by Mikhail Gorbachev himself in an interview with Russia Beyond the Headlines:

The topic of 'NATO expansion' was not discussed at all, and it was not brought up in those years. I say this with full responsibility. Not a single Eastern European country raised the issue, not even after the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist in 1991. Western leaders did not bring it up either.

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.

Also, NATO does not "expand" in the imperialistic sense as described by pro-Kremlin media. Rather, it considers the applications of candidate countries who want to join the Alliance based on their own national will. NATO enlargement is not directed against Russia.

See more similar disinfo cases alleging that NATO promised Russia it would not expand to the East and that giving Ukraine special status is just an opportunity for NATO to expand eastwards.

This disinformation message appeared in the same article as the claim that the US empire staged a secret coup in Ukraine in 2014.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 203
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 28/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Russia, US
  • Keywords: security threat, West, EU/NATO enlargement, Encircling Russia, Anti-Russian, NATO

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Disproof

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It relays a recurring narrative that suggests the US government's involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 conspiracy theories have been refuted several times including by the “9-11 Commission" conducted by the US legislators.

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Disproof

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Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about NATO belligerence towards Russia and Russophobia.

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