On July 7, 2020, the portal published an article titled “NATO on the verge of disintegration: the dispute between France and Turkey over Libya is a sign of the alliance’s weakness!”. The article refers to an incident with France and Turkey in the focus. Namely, according to the French reports about the incident that happened on June 10, the French ship Courbet, which was part of the operation “Sea Guardian”, sailed to check the cargo ship with the Tanzanian flag, Cirkin, near the Libyan coast. The aim was to investigate whether Cirkin was smuggling weapons, given that there is an arms embargo on Libya by the United Nations (UN). According to the French defense forces, the Turkish ships that accompanied the ship Cirkin, which they said was carrying medical equipment, acted aggressively towards the ship Courbet, and even aimed it with their weapons systems three times. Turkey, on the other hand, denies France’s claims, saying the interaction was friendly. Finally, France asked NATO to investigate the incident.

You can find the link to the original article here.


This “incident” is linked to a larger, purely politically motivated narrative that NATO is allegedly on the verge of disintegration, which is absolutely incorrect. The ultimate goal is to undermine the unity of the NATO allies.


Article 1 of NATO’s founding charter contains an obligation to a peaceful resolution of all international disputes to which its members are parties, in a way that does not endanger international peace, security and justice. Although in this case it is not a defined dispute, but a misunderstanding, the parties to the incident, France and Turkey, as NATO allies have an obligation to resolve their misunderstandings through dialogue.

More precisely, misunderstandings such as this between France and Turkey, under the Resolution on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes and Differences between Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organizationmust first be attempted to be resolved within NATO, before any proceedings are initiated before any external bodies and tribunals. In such cases, the Secretary-General of the Organization has the power to informally initiate or facilitate proceedings of inquiry, mediation, conciliation, or arbitration in order to resolve disputes.

Namely, the Resolution gives the right and obligation to the Governments of the member states and to the Secretary-General to report to NATO any events that, in their opinion, may jeopardize the solidarity and effectiveness of the NATO alliance. In the present case, France’s action in this case is strictly in accordance with the provisions and obligations arising from NATO membership, the procedures provided for in NATO, and it should not be treated as a weakness or division at all.

Finally, it is also very important to note that the article in question, published on the web portal, has taken the content of its article from the Serbian portal, which is part of a larger pro-Russian narrative that aims to present the NATO alliance as dysfunctional. Such and similar texts are common for this portal, especially the taking of texts and articles by pro-Russian media coming from neighboring Serbia, something that F2N2 has written about several times.

Based on the above, the F2N2 team assesses this article as anti-NATO narrative propaganda, manipulative and politically biased. The author’s ultimate desire is to present the NATO alliance as an organization that faces enormous problems in its functioning, which is not true at all. The best proof of that is the solidarity of NATO allies in dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NATO is strong and united, regardless of the desires of certain centers of power.




This project was funded in part through a U.S. Embassy grant. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the implementers/authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Government.


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