Disinfo: Coronavirus exposes the weakness of European humanism

Summary

Coronavirus has tested the resilience of Western democracies and above all of  European solidarity. They both proved to be hollow. The critical point was the coronavirus outbreak in Italy which was left helpless by its European partners. Czechia seized a cargo of Chinese medical gear destined for Italy, Spain turned against Italy, and Germany preferred to close its borders. European inaction was also manifested by the comments made by Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic, who accused the Europeans for leaving his country helpless.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign around the Coronavirus epidemic – it promotes a narrative of the imminent collapse of the EU due to the problems caused by the Coronavirus epidemic.

The EU is accelerating procurement and distribution of medical equipment for its Member States. The joint procurement of personal protective equipment launched by the European Commission is one of the major initiatives undertaken.

Additionally, the Commission wants to directly support the healthcare systems of EU Member States in their fights against the coronavirus pandemic. To finance this action, the Commission is mobilising €3 billion from the EU budget, of which €2.7 billion will be channelled through the Emergency Support Instrument and €300 million though the rescEU medical equipment capacity.

The Commission has also decided to create a strategic EU stockpile of medical equipment such as ventilators and protective masks to help EU countries. As far as it concerns the Western Balkans countries, a €38 million package in immediate support to tackle the health emergency caused by coronavirus was announced. Furthermore, the Commission decided to reallocate €374 million to help the socio-economic recovery of the region.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Greek
  • Country: Italy, Czech Republic, Serbia, Russia, Germany, France
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin

Disclaimer

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.

see more

Zinc could help kill coronavirus

Food products that contain large amounts of zinc are necessary to activate the so-called killer cells in the body, these cells are tasked with killing other cells infected with the virus (coronavirus).

Disproof

There is no medical evidence to support the claim that zinc could help against catching the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Zinc is a nutrient that helps your immune system fight off infection. Too much of zinc is toxic and may cause copper deficiency, anaemia and damage to the nervous system. 

Russia saves Europe

The old elites of Europe were saying that Russian aggression on the continent was nothing more than a “scorched earth policy”. Today they are watching stunned as real assistance is given to the Italian people during an extremely difficult period. Moscow offered huge quantities of decontamination units and medical gear. The images from Italy have alerted other European governments about the possible need to resort to Russia and even in Greece various officials have floated the idea for asking Russian assistance. Some insist that Greece’s geopolitical family is the EU and NATO, but the policies of Germany during the debt crisis or the stance of the United States vis-a-vis Turkey have shown that its partners are not always fair.

Disproof

The European Union (EU) has not abandoned its member states. In the case of Italy, the European Commission approved a 50 million euros Italian scheme for the production and supply of medical equipment in the fight against coronavirus and also an Italian state guarantee supporting a debt moratorium from banks to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Additionally and as far as it concerns Greece, two cases stand out. First, the European Central Bank (ECB) decided to include Greek bonds in its new Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program (PEPP) which allows for lower borrowing costs for the Hellenic Republic. Second, the European Commission announced on 3 April the approval of a 2 billion euros Greek aid scheme to support the Greek economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. As far as NATO is concerned, the Alliance's Foreign Ministers have directed NATO’s top commander, General Wolters, to coordinate the necessary military support to combat the coronavirus crisis.

EU has buried its plans to expand to Moldova and Ukraine, but the current crisis might kill the Union

The European Union stopped granting work visas to the citizens of Moldova and Ukraine, already before the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, as the crisis with Syrian migrants emerged. The Union buried its plans to expand towards the East.

And in light of the grinding global economic crisis that is now raging the world, an official death certificate of this union may likely be issued.

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapseThere is no evidence to support the doomsday claim that the pandemic is resulting in the death or obsolescence of the EU.

Although Ukraine is not part of the European Union, the country has signed an Association Agreement with the EU. Additionally, Ukrainian citizens were granted visa-free travel to the Schengen Area in 2017, for travel of up to 90 days within any 180-day period. While the business and leisure trips are both covered, Ukraine ETIAS does not include permission to work in the EU and a separate permit must be obtained, on which policies vary between Schengen member countries, and is open for everyone to apply.