Exposing Russias alternative reality protects Europe

From: Chatham House
Published: Fri Jan 28 2022


Debunking Russian lies and disinformation can hold Vladimir Putin to account and is an essential component of any future dialogue on European security.

The drama now playing out on Ukraine's border and in the meetings between the US, NATO, and Russia is, in reality, a giant exercise in disinformation, ever since the publication of Russia's proposed treaty agreements - one with NATO and the other with the US.

These so-called treaties' essentially claim Ukraine is about to join NATO in the immediate future - but this is not about to happen, and Vladimir Putin knows it. The 1995 study on NATO enlargement makes it clear the existence of ongoing territorial disputes effectively rules out the possibility of an aspiring state joining NATO and - despite promises made to Ukraine at the Bucharest Summit in 2008 - this has not changed.

By annexing Crimea and supporting the separatists in Donbas, Russia has created conditions to make Ukraine's accession to NATO all but impossible. And so by insisting on guarantees against further NATO enlargement - which his own actions are preventing - Putin is using classic disinformation tactics to justify the build-up of troops on Ukraine's border.

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Company: Chatham House

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