Disinfo: An EU leadership crisis was revealed in combating coronavirus

Summary

There is a leadership crisis that has become evident in light of the absence of unity of forces and efforts in combating the disease (coronavirus), among them the European Union … all of which formed discouraged state models in the face of the disease.

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged disintegration and a speculative claim about EU leaving countries to fight the virus by themselves.

The European Commission is coordinating a common European response to the COVID-19 crisis and is supporting the Member States in tackling the pandemic and in mitigating its economic consequences, check here to follow up the progress of support between the EU institutions and the 27 member states.

The COVID-19 outbreak constituted a serious challenge to Europe's readiness for a crisis. The President of the European Commission has apologised for the slow response on behalf of the Union. At the same time, the European Commission has approved a €50 million Italian aid scheme to support the production and supply of medical devices, as well as to help Italy provide the necessary medical treatment to those infected.

On 13 March, the EU proposed a Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, envisaging EUR 835 million for Italy. On 26 March, the European Parliament unanimously approved the initiative.

The European Central Bank announced a 750 billion euro ($820 billion) asset purchase programme in an effort to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, as the death toll in Europe continued to rise. As part of the programme, investors will purchase Italian securities to help the country counter the serious risks of the coronavirus.

On 26 April Economy Commissioner, Paolo Gentiloni said that a recovery fund to help EU countries weather the coronavirus’ economic impact should be worth €1.5 trillion and be available by mid-September.

Furthermore, NATO has also been doing a lot to assist all its member states 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, setting up field hospitals. Many Allies, including the Czech Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain have benefited from this support.

The coordination and delivery of urgently needed medical supplies, such as personal protective equipment, respirators and test kits, is organised by NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) following requests by Allies and partner countries.

For example, in response to Spain and Italy’s requests for assistance made through the EADRCC, the Czech Republic bilaterally provided both countries with medical supplies, including 10,000 protective medical suits each. Through the same mechanism, Turkey provided Italy and Spain with medical supplies such as masks, personal protection equipment and disinfectants.

Read similar cases claiming that Italy is without help from "hypocritical EU" and that the EU left Italy face to face with an invisible and terrible enemy.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 204
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/06/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Euro-scepticism, humanitarian aid, EU disintegration, European Union
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Ukraine claims that the Minsk Agreements are just a piece of paper

The Ukrainian side claimed that the Minsk agreements are just a piece of paper and they are not necessary for implementation. Therefore Russia could claim as well that there’s no need to fulfill these agreements. Or is it only the DPR-LPR that should fulfill them? If this agreement is optional, then could the DPR-LPR attack too?

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine and the Minsk Agreements. The Ukrainian side has never claimed that "the Minsk agreements are just a piece of paper". Oleksandr Merezhko, Deputy Chairman of the Ukrainian Delegation to the Tripartite Contact Group, said at the end of May 2020: "If Ukraine adheres to its obligations and Russia does not, we have the right - and I draw an analogy with an international agreement - for non-compliance and breach of the agreement by the counter-party to withdraw from the process. It will no longer be a legal but a political right. Sanctions will still apply. After all, it was not our fault that the Minsk agreements were violated". The implementation of the agreements remains one of the key priorities of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Since 2014, negotiations with Russia to resolve the conflict in the Donbas have been held within the framework of the Normandy Format and the Minsk process. A special Trilateral contact group is working on a peaceful settlement of the Donbas situation. Three parties are involved in this process: representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. Unofficially, representatives of the "LDNR" factions are also present. The second set of measures to implement the Minsk agreements was signed on 12 February 2015. The first paragraph of the document relates to an immediate ceasefire. Next, it is necessary to withdraw heavy weapons, ensure OSCE monitoring, release prisoners, grant Donbas special status and hold local elections, provide amnesty to the parties involved in the conflict and restore control over the Ukrainian-Russian border in the conflict zone. There are no conditions that the Ukrainian authorities should conduct direct negotiations with the leaders of the "LDNR" factions in the Minsk agreements. Read similar cases alleging that Ukraine does not advance in the implementation of the Minsk agreements under Zelenskyy, that Kyiv does not want to implement the current Minsk agreements, that Ukraine does not want to implement the Minsk agreements because it is controlled by the West, or that Kyiv has not implemented the conditions of "Minsk-2" for five years.

The memorandum with the IMF is putting Ukraine under external control

The new memorandum with the IMF, signed by Kyiv, actually puts Ukraine under external control. The memorandum with the IMF is selling Ukrainian land and will sell all our state-owned enterprises.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative alleging that Ukraine is controlled by the IMF. There is no evidence that cooperation with the IMF could threaten Ukrainian sovereignty. Ukraine has been a member of the IMF and World Bank since 3 September 1992. The relations between Ukraine and the IMF are based on agreements that support the economic development of Ukraine and the improvement of the free market conditions. Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state with a democratically-elected president and parliament. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world. Read more disinformation cases about Ukraine being under foreign control.

Caesar Act targets anyone who even roots for the Syrian regime, including the Lebanese

…The Caeser Act has a negative effect on Lebanon because it works on stopping Lebanese exports to Iraq and to the Arab Gulf (region) and the Levant area. Sanctions on individuals mean that any individual in Lebanon, who considers himself to be a partisan of the Syrian regime, is placed on the list of sanctions by the banks and its money transfers.

Disproof

This is a misunderstanding of the new “Caeser Act” sanction implemented on Syrian targets including president Bashar Al-Assad. The Treasury Department and State Department released 39 designations under the Caesar Act and Executive Order 13894 that target individuals and businesses that support the Assad regime and obstruct a peaceful, political resolution of the conflict as called for by UNSCR 2254. The new American sanction act, which is named after a Syrian military police defector with the pseudonym “Caesar” who smuggled out 55,000 photos of detainees tortured to death in Syrian prisons and hospitals, targets anyone who aids the regime of Bashar al-Assad or provides assistance to certain industries operating inside the regime-held territory. It aims to force the regime to stop the bombardment carried out during ­Syria’s nine-year civil war and halt widely documented human rights abuses. The act also focuses on three sectors — the Syrian military, the domestic petroleum and gas industry, and reconstruction in regime-held areas — and imposes sanctions on anyone who provides support to or maintenance for them. In the military sector, for instance, the sanctions target anyone who sells or provides aircraft to the Syrian military or helps operate the equipment. According to the US state department, the sanctions “under the Caesar Act and Executive Order 13894 are not intended to harm the Syrian people, but rather to promote accountability for the Assad regime’s violence and destruction”. Executive Order 13894 includes menu-based sanctions including travel restrictions to the United States and isolation from the United States’ financial system for foreign persons who engage in or finance the obstruction, prevention, or disruption of a ceasefire or political solution to the conflict in Syria and members of their family, among other actions. Read more disinfo cases that claim that EU sanctions on Syria are illegal, or that the US admits that its goal in Syria is to defend terrorists from Russian attacks, even that the US uses terrorism and coronavirus in Syria, or EU sanctions are for merely doing business with Damascus.