Disinfo: Aim of the Eastern Partnership is to separate Russia's neighbours from it

Summary

Even before 2014 an alarm signal was sounded for EU-Russian relations when the Eastern Partnership initiative was launched. It’s main aim was to separate Russia from its closest neighbours, with whom it has been linked for centuries. The sad consequences of this selfish policy are still felt today.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative accusing the West, and in this case the EU, of separating Russia from its neighbours.

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint policy initiative which aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union (EU), its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Read more about the Eastern Partnership and its priorities here.

The Eastern Partnership initiative is not against any country; it is a mutually beneficial and constructive platform for countries in the region to build a closer relationship with the EU if they choose to do so. The EU does not demand any of its partners to make a choice between the EU or any other country. The Eastern Partnership stands for good neighbourly relations and respects the individual aspirations and ambitions of each partner country.

Furthermore, there was, in fact, a clear record of strong cooperation between the EU and Russia, dating back to 1994, when the two sides negotiated a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. Russia was identified as a strategic partner for the EU and was the only country with which the EU held summits not once, but twice a year.

A new EU-Russia agreement was being negotiated up until 2014, at which point talks were suspended due to Russia's involvement in the Ukraine conflict. Negotiations were also in train on visa facilitation. There was also cooperation between the EU and Russia on a number of foreign policy issues, some of which continue to this day. The EU and its Member States have maintained a clear policy of reaching out to Russian society and youth, mainly through the Erasmus+ student exchange programme and other people to people contacts.

Read more on the most repeated myths about the Eastern Partnership initiative here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 181
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/12/2019
  • Outlet language(s) German
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Eastern Partnership, Anti-Russian, European Union, Encircling Russia
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Four Ukrainian security officers were shot on the border with Hungary

Four officers of Ukraine’s Security Service were killed near the town of Vinohradiv in Transcarpathia close to the border with Hungary.

Disproof

No evidence given except anonymous sources. Several Telegram channels started spreading this information referring only to some inside sources. The SSU Office in the Transcarpathian region stated that some sources were disseminating inaccurate information about the “disappearance of a group of SBU employees. This is not true. We urge everyone not to disseminate fake information”, the department said. After the news of the alleged murders appeared, SSU spokeswoman Olena Gitlyanska noted that the story was “complete nonsense”. The editor-in-chief of the site “Censor.net” Yuriy Butusov also noted that he specifically checked this story with a number of SSU employees in Kyiv and Transcarpathia and confirmed that it is fake.

Al Qaeda was created to destroy Russians and Serbs

The war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s had the goal of establishing a new balance of power in Southeast Europe after the end of the Cold War. For this purpose, the US used the same paramilitary forces, with the help of which they had previously fought with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, which would later bear the name of the Islamist al-Qaeda terrorist group. Other terrorist organisations of militant Muslims, such as the Islamic State, later developed based on the same roots. This is, among other things, published in the material of the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service, which has just come to light. Speaking about Srebrenica, even Philip Corwin, the highest UN civilian representative in Bosnia during the war, later opposed the official version of events. US political scientist Edward Herman and former CIA officer Robert Berr, who at the time “held” Yugoslavian territory, spoke of Srebrenica as a hoax, Wimmer recalls.

Disproof

A recurring disinformation narrative that denies war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in the 1990s and confirmed by the rulings of the international courts ICJ and ICTY. Večernje Novosti published an article about alleged material published by the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service, which, according to this newspaper, disputes "official versions of the circumstances under which the war in the former Yugoslavia took place. "Večernje Novosti reported that those "intelligence documents" were published by the Swiss portal "Swiss Propaganda Research," referring to the "secret report of the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service (FIS)." In reality the "Swiss Intelligence Service Documents" does not exist. Raskrikavanje.rs, a fact-checking website from Serbia, found that the Swiss Propaganda Research portal did not refer to any source, not even a "Swiss intelligence secret document". (See here)

The CIA has sent the truth about the war in Yugoslavia to the Swiss

The Swiss Federal Intelligence Service has released a document stating that the US used the same paramilitary forces in the war in the former Yugoslavia as in the previous war on the USSR in Afghanistan, which would later get the name of al-Qaeda. Information throwing new light from the West on Serbs in the war could have been sent to the Swiss by the CIA. The documents, among other things, recall the case of the massacre at the Markale Market in Sarajevo, which the Bosnian Serb forces were accused of, while later, as in some subsequent cases, UN mission officials concluded that the crime most likely was conducted by Bosnian military forces against their own population. The list of propaganda examples that the media created a framework for the war in Yugoslavia and which deeply influenced public opinion about the nature and character of the conflict is also cited. Such examples include “the Serbian death camp of Trnopolje”, “Markale”, as well as Srebrenica, which is said to be “the saddest highlight of the war in Bosnia”.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. For similar cases, see here. The "Swiss Intelligence Service Documents" cited by Sputnik as a source do not exist. Sputnik states that "intelligence documents" were published by the Swiss portal "Swiss Propaganda Research," referring to the "secret report of the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service (FIS)." Raskrikavanje.rs, a fact-checking website from Serbia, found that the Swiss Propaganda Research portal did not refer to any source, not even a "Swiss intelligence secret document" as Sputnik states.