On March 16th 2020, the European External Action Service published a report namely accusing Russia of spreading disinformation, to lower the confidence of Western citizens in their state and public health system. The report did not include a single example of disinformation and was published for internal political goals. Since the EU and national state failed to address the health crisis caused by the coronavirus, Russia was used as a scapegoat to distract the attention of Europeans. Russia is used as a scapegoat in the West for many issues such as elections, climate change, coronavirus….
Idea of a united Europe has crashed. The idea of fraternal nations of Europe turned into the idea of each for its own. NATO exercises to defend Europe have been cancelled, Sweden tries to remind that Russian threat is in its backyard – no one cares about it, Slovakia tried to buy masks from Ukraine, Germany bought them instead, UK asked its citizens abroad to stay there, as there is no one to bring them back.
Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the disintegration of the European Union. The European Union is supporting the Member States in addressing the crisis, and mitigating the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. To cushion the blow to people’s livelihoods and the economy, the European Commission has adopted a comprehensive economic response to the outbreak, applied the full flexibility of the EU fiscal rules, has revised its State Aid rules and proposed to set up a EUR 37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector. To support scientific research into the COVID-19, the European Commission earmarked 47,5 million EUR for shortlisted research projects that can improve epidemiology and public health, including preparedness and response to outbreaks. The EU has also created first ever stockpile of medical equipment. Read more about the EU's response here and here. There are also examples of EU Member States helping each other in times of crisis, for example German hospitals offering to treat critical coronavirus patients from France. Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the U.S. Army has taken a number of precautionary measures to reduce the unnecessary spread of the disease, including scaling down the U.S.-led multinational Exercise 'Defender Europe 20'. However the Alliance’s essential work continues and NATO’s ability to conduct operations remains intact.