Disinfo: EU prepares new smear campaign against Russia, accuses it of anti-vax activities

Summary

The European Union's leadership is preparing a new slander campaign against Russia, accusing it of fuelling the anti-vaccination movement abroad. Russia is holding dialogue with the relevant European bodies and member states of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) over the use of Sputnik V which has shown good results. What is really impeding the vaccination is opposition from EU officials. The EMA continues to block the certification of the Russian vaccine, in compliance with informal instructions of high-ranking EU officials.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin media outlets, claiming that Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is much better and more efficacious than any foreign ones, which is why the European Union is fighting against it. In reality, there is no evidence of EU bias against the Russian vaccine or that EU officials are blocking its certification. What is more, EMA Executive Director Emer Cooke, said she hoped the Sputnik V vaccine would be approved. For that EMA is conducting a rolling review including with a visit to Russian facilities.

The EMA has certified four vaccines so far. The rolling review of Sputnik V was launched on 4 March 2021. Pro-Kremlin media often quote an article in The Lancet magazine, which showed 91.6 per cent effectiveness of Sputnik V without considerable side effects. However, there have been some doubts as to its efficacy, especially where the trial procedures are concerned (see here and here.) Recently, in the Lancet article published 12 May 2021 critical questions about the Sputnik V data for phase III clinical trial were raised.

There is no Russophobia in the way the EMA is dealing with the Sputnik V vaccine.

The EMA applies the same regulatory approach to all vaccine applications to check them for safety and efficacy.

Read more disinformation cases alleging that Russia’s Sputnik V is better than other vaccines, which is why it is treated unfairly.

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  • Reported in: Issue 244
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/05/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, EU
  • Keywords: vaccination, Sputnik V, Russophobia

Belarus

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Disinfo: US-controlled biolabs develop biological weapons under the guise of studying dangerous infections

Scientific labs controlled by the Pentagon, located in a number of CIS countries and in Georgia, are causing Moscow serious concern. Russia fears that biological weapons are being developed in these centres under the guise of studying dangerous infections.

These labs are staffed by highly professional military microbiologists who do not study or develop anything to protect Georgian or Azerbaijani children, but instead are engaged in studying natural viral foci and exporting strains. Their task is simple, to make highly infectious strains that could easily pass for local ones.

We have been convinced that viruses are effective in terms of creating mass psychosis, destabilising the political situation, and collapsing economies; the coronavirus has caused more damage to the global economy than any war. At the same time, it is impossible to prove the artificial origin of the virus due to incomplete control over the work of biological laboratories. Observers are shown only what they “should see”. Sometimes Georgian specialists are dressed up in suits and they go to these laboratories, but they are not allowed in the most secret places and nobody knows what kind of research is being conducted there, because this is military research.

Last year Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, assumed that the development of pathogens of dangerous diseases for military purposes may be carried out at the US biological laboratories, citing the Richard Lugar Center in Georgia as an example.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation alleging that the United States develops biological weapons and has secret biological laboratories around the world. Consistent with the Pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign against biological laboratories, specifically the Lugar Center in Georgia, which is a recurrent target of these disinformation narratives. The disinformation about US biolabs in CIS countries and in Georgia aiming to encircle Moscow and spread infectious diseases is a part of a years-long disinformation campaign led by the Kremlin. In fact, biological laboratories are involved in preventing the risks of complex diseases and, together with other similar projects, counteracting bioterrorism.

The article does not present any evidence that supports the claim that the US is secretly developing biological weapons in laboratories around the world, thus making unfounded accusations. Russia claims that the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research in Georgia, a public health facility named after US Senator Richard Lugar, is one such lab, but has never presented evidence to support its allegations. International experts visited the facility in 2018 to examine the premises, interview employees and review documents but found nothing suspicious.

Disinfo: NATO turns flourishing nations into desert, builds up presence near Belarus

Minsk may allow Russian military bases on its territory in response to the policy of some Western countries aimed at the violent change of power in Belarus. Minsk spots over 30 NATO reconnaissance flights near the Belarusian border every week. We know what NATO means by its operations for crisis settlement. We know many cases when US troops and their NATO allies have entered flourishing countries and virtually turned them into a desert, inflicting irreparable damage on them.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin media, claiming that NATO is an aggressive bloc, whose aim is to wreak havoc wherever it appears, and that it is particularly eager to occupy Belarus. No evidence provided to back the claims.

In reality, NATO is both a political and a military alliance. It promotes democratic values and enables its members to consult and cooperate on defence and security issues to solve problems, build trust and prevent conflict. As for Belarus, where mass protests broke out last August, NATO does not intend to send its troops there. Belarus’ self-proclaimed leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka has been ever since accusing NATO of building up its military at the western border and mounting pressure in order to destabilise the situation. NATO rejected these claims, although the Alliance is closely monitoring the situation in Belarus. Its Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that fundamental freedoms must be respected, including freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest.

Disinfo: Through “Spring Storm” exercises in Estonia, NATO prepares an attack against Russia and Belarus

NATO “Spring Storm” military exercises in Estonia serve to elaborate the scenario of an attack against Russia. Suspicions are reinforced by the fact that UK and France transported to the Baltic country helicopters and armoured vehicles, which are used in offensive operations. Previously, Belarus’ General Staff announced works on the development of military structure in the Baltic countries and Poland. Minsk points that a bridgehead is being created in NATO’s eastern borders for an offensive against Russia and Belarus.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about NATO, framing it as an aggressive body always plotting against Russia.

Contrary to the claim, Spring Storm 2021 is not a preparation for an attack against Russia or Belarus, but a military exercise to test the integration between NATO troops and the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF), strengthening their interoperability and responsiveness. This exercise takes place every year.

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