Disinfo: The EU is dead, it can’t take control over the coronavirus crisis

Summary

The European Union is actually dead. In this critical moment, it was not able to offer people anything. All countries closed their borders and reestablished border control. The EU ceased to exist for a while.

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapse. It also aims to pit EU member states against each other in an attempt to undermine European solidarity - another recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation tactic. There is no evidence to support the doomsday claim that the pandemic is resulting in the death or obsolescence of the EU.

To cushion the blow to people’s livelihoods and the economy, the European Commission has adopted a comprehensive economic response to the outbreak, applied the full flexibility of the EU fiscal rules, has revised its State Aid rules and proposed to set up a €37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector.

To provide all EU Member States with essential medical equipment, the EU has created the European stockpile of ventilators, masks and lab supplies. This medical and protective equipment is available to any EU country. The Commission will finance 90% of this stockpile through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (RescEU).

To support scientific research into the COVID-19, the European Commission has earmarked €47.5 million for shortlisted research projects that can improve epidemiology and public health, including preparedness and response to outbreaks. The EU has also created its first ever stockpile of medical equipment. 

EU Member States are also helping each other in this crisis, for example German hospitals offering to treat critical coronavirus patients from France as well as taking in patients from Italy and the Czech Republic sending masks to Italy.

Read more about the EU's response here and here. 

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue190
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: EU
  • Keywords: coronavirus, European Union

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.

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Globalism and the mythical unity of the West have begun to crash

In a pandemic and systemic crisis, the foundation of globalism – the mythical unity of the West, began to crash. Western countries began not only to be quarantined from each other, but slid into a completely egoistic policies. They refuse to help their EU partners with medical supplies and financial support.

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapse.

One of the main pro-Kremlin narratives relating to the pandemic is that the EU is failing to cope with the COVID-19 crisis and, as a result, is disintegrating, together with the border-free Schengen area. In particular, this narrative of failure and lack of EU solidarity is trending after the delivery of Russian aid to Italy.

Original source of COVID-19 is an American military biological warfare laboratory

The original source of the COVID-19 virus is the American military biological warfare laboratory at Fort Detrick.

Disproof

Conspiracy theories about the 2019-nCoV coronavirus, there is no evidence to suggest that the virus is being used as a weapon against other states or that is was fabricated inside laboratories.

This Coronavirus comes from a family of viruses that include the common cold and viruses such as SARS and MERS, and the medical Journal “Emerging Microbes & Infections” specifically said there is “No credible evidence supporting claims of the laboratory engineering”.

Russia was never involved in Libya

Russia has never been involved in the internal Libyan conflict.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that Russian ground troops are not active in Libya or Syria, while there is a wide spectrum of sources disproving these claims. 

A private army linked to the Kremlin has been fighting on the front lines of the Libyan war for several months. The Russian firm Wagner Group is a mercenary outfit involved in armed conflicts on the Kremlin’s behalf from Ukraine to Syria to the Central African Republic. The Wagner group members are mostly ex-service personnel, fought clandestinely in support of Russian forces in Syria and Ukraine, according to Reuters' interviews with dozens of contractors, their friends and relatives.