DISINFO: Berlin sets a course of containment towards Russia
Sergei Lavrov West Anti-Russian Alexei Navalny Russophobia

DISINFO: Berlin sets a course of containment towards Russia


Berlin has embarked on a course to contain Russia, but the tensions can be overcome in favour of the interests of both countries. The Russian Foreign Ministry declared that accusations by Berlin would continue the anti-Russian line in relation to the Navalny case. It was also an attempt to shift the responsibility for its own unwillingness to cooperate with Moscow in this case onto others.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on anti-Russian policy in Europe, portraying Western governments and institutions as Russophobic and trying to harm Russia. This is also part of a disinformation narrative portraying the poisoning of prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny as unfounded and targeted against Russia. Germany does not set a course of containment towards Russia. According to Germany's Foreign Ministry, dialogue with Russia remains important. Among others, the Petersburg dialogue, which includes ten working groups on various aspects of society and meets once a year, is an important bilateral forum for German-Russian dialogue. The two countries also organise events in joint German-Russian years, which focus on a particular topic relevant to bilateral collaboration. From an economic perspective, Germany is Russia’s largest trade partner after China. For its part, Germany primarily exports machinery, vehicles and vehicle parts to Russia. Moreover, Germany and Russia enjoy a lively exchange in the cultural and educational sectors. The youth exchange is promoted in various ways, including through the Foundation for German-Russian Youth Exchange. Nevertheless, the two countries’ political relations are overshadowed by Russia’s violations of fundamental principles enshrined in international law such as its annexation of Crimea, actions in eastern Ukraine and the recent poisoning of Alexei Navalny. The German reaction to the Navalny case is not an anti-Russia line. The poisoning of Navalny was confirmed in three independent laboratories. The German Federal government said that toxicological tests provided “unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group” in Navalny's blood samples. The European Union also condemned the poisoning in the strongest possible terms. Read similar disinformation cases alleging that the situation with Navalny is a massive disinformation campaign of Western countries, that events in Belarus and unfounded claims of Navalny’s poisoning aim at destabilising Russia and that there is no evidence Navalny was poisoned; Washington and Brussels want sanctions.


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Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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