Disinfo: Cooperation between the Mediterranean countries threatens Germany’s hegemony

Summary

The cooperation between the Mediterranean countries might become a problem for securing Germany’s hegemony over the [European] continent. Of course an issue is that the interests of Spain, Portugal and Greece not always coincide, but all these countries have suffered greatly from the fiscal regime imposed by Germany and its financial policies.

The pandemic has demonstrated that Germany, in a time of crisis, does not with to help its partners in the European Union and is first and foremost preoccupied with its own interests. This has been the same all the time, but in more peaceful years, the illusion of European unity has been stronger.

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about "German hegemony in Europe" and the EU's alleged imminent collapse.

This narrative also aims to pit EU member states against each other in an attempt to undermine European solidarity, another recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation tactic.

Read similar cases claiming that the EU has collapsed as a result of the pandemic that the coronavirus epidemic marks the beginning of an era of crisis for pan-European identity and solidarity and that the COVID outbreak means the end of Europe.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 194
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: EU, Portugal, Greece, Germany, Spain
  • Keywords: coronavirus, EU, EU disintegration, Mediterranean
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Ukraine acts on behalf of the US and NATO to escalate the situation at the Azov Sea

The construction of a Ukrainian naval base in the Azov Sea is an indirect attempt by the West to artificially create a new international problem and an area of military tension near the Russian borders. The Ukrainian navy is acting on behalf of the U.S. and NATO to escalate a problem on the unilateral militarization of the Azov Sea.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine and the Azov Sea, the aggressive West, NATO encircling Russia and NATO belligerence. This is consistent with the narratives challenging Ukrainian statehood and painting the US and NATO as the puppet-masters of Ukrainian politics.

Ukraine is a sovereign state. Neither the US, nor NATO, control Ukraine. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity continue to be violated by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014. Despite NATO having refuted such claims many times,  pro Kremlin propaganda systematically states that NATO planned to create military bases on the territory of Ukraine: in Crimea, Donbass, and now in the Sea of Azov. A bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty are considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine. A treaty stipulates that agreement from each of the two littoral countries is required for warships from any other country to enter the internal sea.

The only thing uniting the EU is Russophobia

While the European Union is only united in blaming Russia for its alleged “disinformation policy” which aims to undermine the union, the facts speak for themselves: Moscow sent 15 air carriers with all necessary supplies to fight the coronavirus in Italy and Italian citizens began to replace, tear apart and even burn EU flags. The news about the crisis in Italy and the EU’s impudent and hypocritical failure to respond was not exposed by Russian “disinformation,” but by journalists all over the world.

Disproof

The COVID-19 outbreak challenged EU’s response capabilities, but a claim that "EU has done nothing" is false.

The article’s allegation that Russian disinformation is merely an expression of the EU’s Russophobia is baseless as Moscow’s disinformation campaign is well-documented by independent researchers such as, for example, the Computational Propaganda Research Project by the University of Oxford and Graphika, and the Knight Report. For more detailed information about the coronavirus campaign, see the latest disinformation report by EU vs. Disinfo.

EU refuses aid to Serbia in the fight against the coronavirus, China and brotherly Russia generously respond

The European Union completely denied Serbia’s request for aid in the fight against the coronavirus. In doing so, Europe displayed the same “solidarity” to Belgrade as it did in 1999 during the tragic bombings of the country. Faraway China and brotherly Russia, however, generously responded to Serbia’s request and sent medical equipment and staff to help the country combat the deadly virus while the EU remained silent.

Disproof

A recurring disinformation narrative about the EU and the coronavirus pandemic.

The EU mobilised immediate support for the fight against the coronavirus to its partners in the Western Balkans, including Serbia. As per the partners’ request, the Commission provided support for the supply of medical devices and personal equipment to address the immediate needs of the public health systems in the countries. In Serbia, the EU aid for immediate medical needs amounts to 15 million EUR. The Commission mobilised additional funds to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the outbreak through the support of the private sector, social protection, and resilience in the health sector. Serbia will benefit from 78.4 million EUR for this purpose.