The West continues to punish residents of Crimea for their will of self-determination

Summary

Western countries continue their attempts to punish the residents of Crimea for their will of self-determination, expressed in a referendum in 2014. The refusal of EU countries to issue Schengen visas to Crimean residents with passports received on the peninsula after 2014, violates citizens’ rights to free movement, contradicts international human rights standards and is politically motivated.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Disinformation message appeared after a statement of the head of the European Union’s mission in Moscow, Marcus Ederer.  On July 22, he stressed that the European Union did not recognise and will not recognise the Russian annexation of Crimea, therefore Russian passports issued in Crimea by the Russian authorities after the annexation will not be recognized and accepted when applying for a Schengen visa. Ederer advised residents of the peninsula to visit European countries using their Ukrainian documents.

With the annexation of the Ukrainian Crimea, Russia forcibly imposed the citizenship of the occupying country on two million Crimeans. Crimeans remain citizens of Ukraine, who can obtain a biometric passport and freely take advantage of the visa-free regime with the European Union by visiting a wide list of states without obtaining any additional visas.

You can read more on the topic here, here and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 159
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 29/07/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, EU
  • Keywords: Visa liberalisation, Crimea
  • Outlet: IZ.ru, RIA.ru, Ukraina.ru
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State company Naftogaz of Ukraine recognised the annexation of Crimea

By filing a lawsuit Naftogaz is recognizing that Crimea is a Russian territory, and it recognizes Russia’s rights to property in Crimea.
Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

At the end of June 2019, Naftogaz filed a lawsuit in the Tribunal under the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, where they estimated the company's damage from the Russian annexation of Crimea at $5.2 billion. The Court has divided the consideration of the case into two stages and the final decision will be made in the second part, in 2020.

Trump threatens to release thousands of ISIS members in Europe

US president Donald Trump threatened to release thousands of members of the Islamic State terrorist group captured in Syria in Europe if European countries don’t take them back.

Disproof

This is a deliberate distortion of Donald Trump's words, who on February 2019 requested "Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters [...] captured in Syria and put them on trial", warning that otherwise the US forces would be "forced to release them". But he didn't threaten to do that in Europe.

This is part of the recurrent Russian narrative about a US instrumentalisation of jihadist groups in the Middle East. You can see other examples of it here, here, here and here.

The Pentagon doesn’t want to renounce Russian and Chinese equipment and software

The Pentagon continues buying equipment and software of Chinese and Russian production, despite the warning of US authorities about an alleged security threat.

Disproof

The affirmation is false, based in a distorted reading of a report by the Office of the Inspector General of the US Department of Defense. According to this document, in fiscal year 2018 the Pentagon spent around 32,8 million dollars in products of Russian and Chinese firms such as Kaspersky Lab and Lenovo. The report’s title is: “Audit of the DoD’s Management of the Cybersecurity Risks for Government Purchase Card Purchases of Commercial Off-the-Shelf Items”, and it is actually a warning against the potential risk posed by these firms for US national security.

The report was commissioned after the Department of Defense started to compile a ‘do not buy’ list of software by mid-2018, with the stated goal of minimising that risk and keeping code created in Russia and China out of its systems. To conclude from this document that the Pentagon continues buying this equipment and software is an interested lie.