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: Switzerland, Russia, US
  • Keywords: security threat, EU/NATO enlargement, Encircling Russia, Anti-Russian, NATO, The West

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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The West intervenes in referendum for new Russian Constitution

The West has been interfering, using social media, NGOs and media outlets, in Russia’s constitutional process since mid-January. Russia’s Upper House of Parliament’s Committee for the Protection of State Sovereignty plans to send data on Western intervention to the relevant state authorities after July 1st, the head of the commission Andrey Klimov said. Washington has the leading role behind this intervention.

Disproof

This is a disinformation narrative about the aggressive West and the so-called "colour revolutions". However, there is no such evidence that the West is interfering in the referendum on Russia's Constitution. Russian officials and state media routinely predict oddly specific Western "provocations" against Russia which never come to fruition. In 2019 alone, pro-Kremlin outlets said that NATO would kill its own officers to provoke a new conflict in Ukraine; that the UK would use its chemical labs to kill Russians; that the US was planning an anti-Russian operation in the Black Sea; that Canada was also planning an anti-Russian operation in the Black Sea and that NATO would intervene in Crimea to rig the Ukrainian presidential election.

NATO is a geopolitical instrument of the US

Speaking about the “brain death” of NATO Macron had in mind only one, but very significant circumstance. The fact is that the North Atlantic Alliance, where the most developed European countries and their minions are “hanging out”, has long been transformed from a military instrument into a geopolitical one. And only one member of the bloc is managing this tool – the United States. This is not surprising, because, as you know, the one who pays controls the music. Washington pays for the maintenance of the largest military-political bloc in history. So it reserves the right to use this tool exclusively for its own geopolitical purposes.
Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on NATO as a geopolitical project of the US.

NATO was founded in 1949 by twelve sovereign nations: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. It has since grown to 29 Allies who each took an individual and sovereign decision to join this Alliance. All decisions in NATO are taken by consensus, which means that a decision can only be taken if every single member accepts it. No member of the Alliance can order the deployment of armed forces of other member states.

A deliberate distortion, falsification of history occurs in Western countries

In the USA and many countries of Western Europe, the middle and young generation has a rather “original” and distorted idea of ​​the Second World War. These ideas are caused by objective and subjective reasons. Subjective reason is a deliberate distortion, falsification of history that occurs in Western countries in recent years. Objective ones are simply ignorance of the history about the participants, the results of the Second World War, based on modern cliches.

Disproof

This is part of the Kremlin’s campaign on historical revisionism on WWII in order to boost its legitimacy and deny the USSR’s responsibility in the outbreak of WWII.

According to Kremlin's policy, the official Russian historiography is the only “true” way of interpreting the historical events about WWII. The European Parliament called the war the bloodiest tragedy of the century, which resulted in millions of victims of authoritarian regimes both of fascist Germany and the USSR. The European Parliament adopted a resolution, describing the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of 23 August 1939 as a key element causing World War II. The European Parliament also paid tribute to the victims of Stalinism, Nazism and other totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. The Western historians acknowledge the role played by the USSR in defeating Nazism and do not question the Soviet contribution to the victory in WWII and the status of the USSR as a country which had won in WWII.