NATO Parliamentary Assembly
HomeNEWSNews 201511 October 2015 - NATO MPs call for more action to combat Russian propaganda

NATO PA MPs call for more action to combat Russian propaganda

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Stavanger 11 October 2015 – Parliamentarians from NATO nations expressed alarm on Saturday at Russia’s use of hybrid warfare tactics and disinformation and warned the Alliance to boost its efforts to counter Kremlin propaganda.

“It is not just a virtual threat: hateful propaganda encourages the actual fighting in eastern Ukraine, and leads to lethal incidents inside Russia, such as the assassination of Boris Nemtsov,” Polish deputy Witold Waszczykowski told members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Stavanger, Norway.

The Polish deputy noted that “every nation has the right to promote its culture, language and vision of world affairs. But this competition of ideas has to take place on a fair playing field. Unfortunately, Moscow refuses to play fair. Moscow exploits the open and pluralistic nature of the Western media market, while Russia’s own media scene remains under the tight government control. It uses techniques that are completely unacceptable.”

In a draft resolution adopted by the NATO PA Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security, the deputies urge NATO and the European Union to more rapidly respond to blatant cases of disinformation.

The resolution, expected to be adopted by the assembly’s full plenary session on Monday, calls for tougher legal measures like fines to counter hate speech or obvious lies.

The resolution also notes that the Euro-Atlantic community cannot combat propaganda with counter-propaganda, but it should take the lead encouraging the development of high global journalistic standards and promoting investigative journalism.

In the NATO PA Defence and Security Committee, rapporteur Julio Miranda Calha drew attention to the use of hybrid warfare tactics by President Vladimir Putin’s administration.

“The Kremlin is now seeking to probe for soft spots at the Alliance’s periphery in the hopes of furthering its interests and weakening the Euro-Atlantic security community,” Calha warned.

To better counter hybrid warfare, his report recommends, NATO must improve its strategic awareness, continue with deterrence measures, improve communications and develop defensible cyber-networks and robust economies.

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