Disinfo: Diplomats expelled from Russia knew they were breaking laws

Summary

Foreign diplomats knew this very well. Thus, the participation of staff members from the Swedish and Polish consulates general and of the German embassy in the actions of January 23 and 31 represents not only interference in the internal affairs of Russia, but also a violation, deliberate and conscious, of the laws of the host country.

Disproof

An unfounded claim on Western aggression against Russia.

It was reported earlier by Euvsdisinfo that Russia expelled three European diplomats who were monitoring the protests. Actually, they were only present at the spot where the protests were taking place, which is compatible with their status as foreign diplomats as the statement of the High Representative Josep Borrell points out.

Diplomats from Germany, Poland and Sweden were indeed at the January rallies in support of Alexei Navalny. But nothing indicates that the diplomats were actual participants: they did not speak to the audience, carry posters and banners or chant slogans. In accordance with their diplomatic status, they were present as observers. Russian media outlet The Insider also reminds readers about the terms of the Vienna convention. Article 3 defines the functions of diplomatic missions, including the following:

(d) Ascertaining by all lawful means conditions and developments in the receiving State, and reporting there on to the Government of the sending State

Silent attendance at a demonstration or rally, as well as communication with its participants, which does not yet count participation in a political campaign.

Moreover, it is absolutely impossible to understand the ban on holding mass events introduced at the time of the pandemic. The bans, introduced by the heads of Moscow and St. Petersburg, relate specifically to the holding of events, but not to visiting them. The diplomats did not organise the protests, they only visited them, fulfilling their duties under the convention. The European Parliament published the following statement on 8 February:

We strongly condemn the recent decision by the Russian Federation to expel from the country three EU diplomats, respectively from Germany, Poland and Sweden. The expulsion of those diplomats is utterly unjustified and runs counter to the letter and spirit of the Vienna convention, which explicitly allows diplomats to ascertain by all lawful means conditions and developments in the receiving State, and report thereon to the Government of the sending State.

Read also related stories: Russia was forced to expel EU diplomats who participated in illegal protests, diplomats from the EU took part in un-sanctioned rallies; Russia’s patience has limits.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 231
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/02/2021
  • Outlet language(s) French
  • Country: Poland, Sweden, Germany, Russia
  • Keywords: Rule of law, West, Diplomacy with Russia, Anti-Russian, Maria Zakharova
see more

British children are deprived of “breast milk” and “mothers”

British newborns are actually deprived of “breast milk” and “mothers”. In order not to offend “gender-neutral” patients, hospitals in Brighton and Sussex have introduced new terminology.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the moral decay of Europe and propaganda of the morally corrupt West, and an over-interpretation of an instruction on inclusive language from the university hospitals of Brighton and Sussex. The instruction contains details on how to address non-binary and transgender people giving birth. The authors emphasise the necessity of an individual approach. The first point in the instructions to midwife is:

Treat people as individuals and uphold their dignity.

The instruction continues:

If we only use gender neutral language, we risk marginalising or erasing the experience of some of the women and people who use our services. We understand the fear of erasure, however marginalising other groups because they are rare will not improve care for women. We believe in human rights-based care and we can add inclusive language to our current language without subtracting anyone.

The demo with torchlights will give 146 percent support for Navalny

The plans of [Navalny’s associate] Leonid Volkov, who has suggested to use torchlights on 14 February all over the country, have been disclosed. Nothing needs to be done, all is already drawn and ready. The videos are already prepared.

Why does Volkov suggest a demonstration with torchlights outside the houses? Because they are easy to manipulate with computer graphics. They doctored the film with the “palace”. Imagine what they can do here. There will be 146 percent of support.

Disproof

An attempt to belittle the demonstrations and, in advance, create a narrative about its insignificance. Similar attempts are described here.

The number "146 percent" relates to a meme in Russia, where the turnup in the parliamentary elections in some regions amounted to 146 percent.

Russia is prepared for any kind of mess the West will come up with

Do you expect some kind of mess? The mess is already here.

The sanctions would be there, no matter what we do. We can do nothing, we can act, there will be sanctions against Russia anyway. The Democrats in the US seems to have outlined a strategy on relations with Russia for the upcoming six months. It will likely contain new concepts of economic restrictions against our country.

They will come up with something; remembering the anniversary of the Crimeas reunification with Russia might be the pretext. They do not need any reason. We must not forget that there this year will be presidental elections in Syria. The US introduced the Caesar Act and this will likely mean sanctions. All is very predictable and accounted for. Our authorities are confident.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western sanctions imposed on Russia trying to imply that the sanctions are groundless and used to suppress Russia.

EU sanctions and other restrictive measures were first applied (opens in a new tab)in 2014 following the Russian illegal annexation of Crimea. Since then, the list has been updated(opens in a new tab). The United States also imposed(opens in a new tab) sanctions on Russia after the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity in 2014.