EU integration means property restitution from a large part of Ukrainian territory in favour of EU countries

Summary

Poland and possibly Hungary are preparing documents on property located in Western Ukraine. Restitution is the key rule of EU integration. This is what Latvia went through and it had to return almost a half of Riga’s historical centre to previous owners. Restitution of property on the territories of Bessarabia, Zakarpattia, Bukovina, Galicia, Volyn, and part of Podillia regions are open questions. One may wonder if the rights of the Russian empire over Kyiv can be treated as restitution too.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about massive restitution claims that Ukrainians will face in case Ukraine joins the EU. In reality, property restitution is not a condition for EU membership and is not on the agenda of EU-Ukrainian relations.

"Restitution is one of the most mythologised issues in Ukrainian politics. Politicians and experts contribute hugely to the belief that European integration will inevitably lead to a review of property rights and many ordinary citizens will lose their homes or have to pay compensation to foreigners, primarily to Poles," Europe Insight analysis reads. It includes an expert opinion that the property restitution issue is "above the EU's competence" and could not be inserted into the EU-Ukraine Association agreement even theoretically.

Read an earlier disinformation case alleging that Poland wants restitution of II Rzeczpospolita from Belarus [Second Polish Republic] property and a total clean-up of the political sphere.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 168
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/10/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Ukraine, EU
  • Keywords: Conspiracy, Ukrainian statehood
  • Outlet: Sputnik Belarus
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When the plane crashed, the West, at the initiative of Ukraine, immediately blamed Russia for this. The investigation was one-sided, without the participation of the Russian side.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the MH17 crash.

First of all, Russia's interest in aiding the JIT investigation is not a relevant condition to its membership in JIT. The crash did not take place over Russian territory and claimed no Russian lives, which precludes any basis for Moscow to be represented in the JIT. Dutch Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke told a Russian newspaper that "if MH17 were shot down over Russia, I would have suggested that Russia be made a member of the JIT group."

Europe today has an important task to settle the civil war in Ukraine

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, attempting to portray it as a civil war. By claiming that Europe has to settle the war in Ukraine, the Russian side is trying to divert attention from its own responsibility for provoking the war in Ukraine. It disregards the extensive factual evidence confirming ongoing Russian military presence in Donbas. Prior debunks of this narrative can be found here and here.

The war in Ukraine is supported by Russian Federation armed forces, it is not a civil war. Overwhelming evidence confirms that Russia is sending mercenaries to Donbas. The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation", and continue to condemn the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014.

NATO/US military exercises in Europe are directed against Russia and Belarus

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, portraying NATO as a threat to peace and about the belligerent West aiming to conduct aggressive activities against Russia. When it comes to the conspiracy theory about NATO's plans to wage a war against Russia, NATO has addressed this on its official website. Any claims that NATO is preparing an attack on Russia are absurd.

As stated by NATO heads of state and government at the Warsaw Summit in July 2016, "the Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia.  But we cannot and will not compromise on the principles on which our Alliance and security in Europe and North America rest".