NATO say that Russian officials have made false accusations about the role of the Alliance in the fight against COVID-19.

Russia’s Top Five Myths about NATO & COVID-19 are displayed below.

Myth 1: COVID-19 will break up NATO

Fact: For over 70 years, NATO has kept our countries and our people safe by continuously adapting to new challenges. NATO was created to deal with crises, and we are working to ensure that this health crisis does not become a security crisis. As in our societies, some of our civilian and military personnel have tested positive for COVID-19, but NATO’s core political and military work continues. Our ability to conduct operations has not been undermined. Our forces remain ready, and our crucial activities carry on, including in our multinational battlegroups in the east of the Alliance, our maritime deployments and our missions from Afghanistan to Kosovo. We continue to deliver credible and effective deterrence and defence, while supporting national and international efforts to deal with the pandemic. NATO Allies continue to support each other in responding to COVID-19 and stand together in solidarity.

Myth 2: NATO is failing to support Allies in the fight against COVID-19

Fact: NATO is playing its part to support Allies in the fight against COVID-19. This includes facilitating the airlift of crucial medical supplies and equipment, matching requests for support with offers from Allies and partners, and delivering innovative responses. Many Allies, including the Czech Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain have benefited from this support. At the request of Allies, NATO’s top commander, General Wolters, is now coordinating the necessary military support to combat the crisis and using fasttrack paths through Europe’s airspace for military flights carrying medical supplies. Across the Alliance, our professional and highly trained armed forces are playing a vital role in supporting national civilian responses. This includes logistics and planning, field hospitals, the transport of patients, disinfection of public areas, and at border crossings. As we support Allies, NATO continues to deliver on its core mission: providing security and defence for almost 1 billion people.

Myth 3: COVID-19 is a weapon created by NATO

Fact: NATO is a defensive Alliance and serves to protect our almost 1 billion citizens. COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease. As confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), all available evidence suggests that SARSCoV-2, the coronavirus causing COVID-19, has a natural origin in animals and is not a constructed virus. As the WHO makes clear, this new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. A recent analysis of the genome sequence of SARS-CoV-2 found no evidence that the virus was made in a laboratory, or otherwise engineered.

Myth 4: NATO exercises spread COVID-19 virus

Fact: From the start of the outbreak, NATO has implemented robust measures to limit the spread of the virus and minimise risks to our personnel and the communities they serve. As we have communicated publicly, some NATO and Allied exercises have been modified or cancelled. These are sensible precautions, because the safety of our personnel is a top priority. NATO military medical staff remain vigilant. They are monitoring any potential impact for NATO troops deployed on operations. NATO continues to assess the situation and take all necessary measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Myth 5: NATO encourages defence spending at the expense of healthcare

Fact: NATO Foreign Ministers and the NATO Secretary General have expressed their sympathy and solidarity with all those affected by COVID-19, with the health care workers and others on the frontline, and with all those who are experiencing financial uncertainty or hardship. In democratic countries, setting the state budget is a complex political process reflecting social needs, as well as national political priorities. In times of crisis, our troops can play a vital public role. As we are now seeing, Allied armed forces are a crucial part of national responses to COVID-19, helping to support civilian efforts with logistics and planning, field hospitals, the transport of patients, disinfection of public areas, and at border crossings. Their health and safety is also essential to maintaining our readiness to deter threats and defend our nations. It is important that we continue to invest in our armed forces, not at the expense of public health, but to keep our people and our nations safe.

Read them for yourself directly from NATO: https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/2020/4/pdf/2004-Factsheet-Russia-Myths-COVID-19_en.pdf

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Mark B
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Mark B

The only thing I can see which might possibly cause the break up of NATO is the lack any potential enemies.

Countries get irritated with each other and have done ever since the formation of NATO however I would expect long term strengthening of NATO.

Wishful thinking by the Russians?

Cam
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Cam

Russia would never atack Nato neither would China, and our government must know this and that’s why they have cut our millitary to the bone. And now we can only deploy at a medium scale not field army size, he’ll we would be hard pressed to deploy a division.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Lets see what SDSR 2020 says. At present a Division at best effort is indeed the plan, using 3 of 4 Brigades,

I often read losing divisional deployment capability loses influence with the Americans.

I personally would let Eastern Europe get on with it and fund the RN and RAF properly, keeping the army around current size but organised better.

We do no need to be a land power.

We do need to be a sea, air, and intelligence power.

Trevor
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Trevor

Broadly I agree. I believe we need a core size that is big enough to sustain our ability to create and support a group of special forces. SAS Parachute Airborne Commando Marine… And what I would call, for being short of a better word, Rangers. We do not need and cannot recreate the BOAR. Not least because there is no Warsaw Pact any more. As a country. Russia is falling to bits. But we can do nothing on the battlefield without air superiority. In the european and Mediterranean theatre we would only work as part of NATO. Beyond that we… Read more »

Mark B
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Mark B

The priorities are indeed sea, air, and intelligence power. The Army is however a problem which needs to be resolved. It seems likely that whilst they numbers remain low the lethality will increase as the kit gets better. Exactly what this will look like in practice remains unknown.

It is perhaps true to say that we should no longer be providing a standing army to defend mainland Europe however is it not in our interests to be able to rapidly project lethal force across the world and to all corners of our island.

Andy
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Andy

Another way to break up NATO might be to infiltrate it and destroy it from within. You might even infiltrate more than one Ally, perhaps you could create a situation that leads them towards some disagreement or crisis big enough to cause one to leave. If that doesn’t work you can try to persuade the populations of the NATO countries that NATO itself is a bad idea and causes more harm than good, and how membership is holding them back. Behind the scenes, and without their knowledge, do support and oppose political candidates as appropriate. Then, just keep doing that,… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
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Gavin Gordon

You can always tell when a Russian is lying; their lips move. Pay no attention.

HF
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HF

They love spreading this rubbish. Maybe they think Eastern Europe has forgotten being under their iron grip for nearly 45 years. Of course they also want to create divisions in NATO, hoping it will eventually break up. I’ll bet a lot of the stuff on social media about how things are being covered up, that things are much worse, are spread by them. They used to promote the idea that Dickens books painted a picture of Europe in the 20th century. Mind you, as the CIA promoted the writing and publication of Dr Zhivago for the same sort of reason….… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

I certainly hope we reply in kind HF. Job for 77 Brigade?

HF
Guest
HF

Sauce for the goose…. Best thing, though, would be to expose their lies to undermine their credibility

Paul T
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Paul T

From what information I have looked at during this crisis the response from NATO seems to have been more effective and constructive than the response from the EU, would others agree ?.

Andy
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Andy

Doing extremely well I think.

Ulya
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Ulya

I must confess apart from seeing an article about how slow EU countries had been to help each other out I have not seen any of the other claims. Not saying they haven’t been made, I’ve just not seen them. Did they say which Russian media made the claims out of curiosity?

Andy
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Andy

That’s what I thought too, and I have Sputnik and RT in my news feed.

Ulya
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Ulya

RT I can understand you reading Andy, it’s a government media and made for foreign readers, as long as you don’t take it too seriously. Sputnik I didn’t know they had English language (my assumption you don’t read Russian). Forgive me if I come across as rude, but why read Sputnik? It is at best nothing more than propaganda, it was the first site I went to after reading this article to see if I could find something there

Andy
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Andy

I wouldn’t say I read it, I use a news discovery platform called NewsNow, it’s based in the UK too, and is apparently independent. It algoritmically groups stories by topic and links to other news sites around the world, so if some story on Sputnik is gaining some traction it might appear here and come to my attention. It’s very interesting because you see the narrative of a particular story from other points of view. Free and controlled press from China, India, both Koreas, Australia, Arabic nations, Iran, Iraq, Israel, and Turkey are all often represented in military related stories.… Read more »

Ulya
Guest
Ulya

Thank you Andy, I will look at this NewsNow later, right now my horses and I need exercise. You are interesting to talk to

Barry Larking
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Barry Larking

How many Russians read this and believe it? The country faces economic problems just as all other countries do and economies are interdependent as they have been since early days. No one has better reason to rue a centralised command economy than Russia. It’s very bad politics to slag off your only known to be reliable markets and seek to create instability. Unsurprisingly, given this nationalist first, thinking second approach to a complex world and longer term self interest, perhaps the Russians have something in common with Scotland, a country where another set of ideologues hampered by the same mindset… Read more »

Herodotus
Guest

I would agree entirely Barry. However, just to point out, your last paragraph might equally well apply to the UK since 2016!

Andy
Guest
Andy

And America since Trump?

Ulya
Guest
Ulya

You make some valid points Barry, Russians generally have a low opinion of our media, well younger Russians anyway, my parents had more trust than me, but we have literally hundreds of media outlets all pushing their own agenda/interpretation of things, from the government mouth piece, anti Putin groups to the communist, that is why I was curious about the media source. As for instability in Europe, it serves no one to have this, yes it is no secret that NATO being right on our border is not popular, but it is also of no real threat to us, certainly… Read more »

Barry Larking
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Barry Larking

Thank you for your contribution Ulya.