Disinfo: EU sanctions for merely doing business with Damascus

Summary

The European Union imposed sanctions on a group of Syrians for merely doing business with Damascus, citing that it deals with the Syrian government, while experts said that trade between Syria and Europe has been suspended for years.

Disproof

EU sanctions concerning Syria are targeted at the Syrian regime and its policies, as are the restrictions put in place. It should be noted that the restrictions include exemptions for humanitarian needs and purposes.

In February 2020, the European Council added eight prominent businessmen and two entities linked to those businessmen to the list of persons and entities subject to the sanctions against the Syrian regime and its supporters. The justification was that their activities directly benefited the Assad regime, including through projects located on lands expropriated from persons displaced by the conflict.

The sanctions on Syria were originally imposed in 2011. They are reviewed on an annual basis, with the next review due by 1st June.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 185
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/02/2020
  • Outlet language(s)
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Syria
  • Keywords: European Union, Syrian War
see more

The MH17 trial will be a show process

The MH17 trial will be indeed a show process, where the accused are already proven guilty by the Western media and politicians.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory attempting to undermining the Joint International Investigation of the downing of the flight MH17.

A special team, known as the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), was established to conduct the criminal investigation of the downing of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. The JIT comprises officials from the Dutch Public Prosecution Service and the Dutch police, along with police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.

There is no evidence of Russian intelligence activity in Ireland

According to the Times, teams of Russian (GRU) agents have been dispatched to Ireland to map undersea fiber-optic cables, with a view to “cutting communications in time of conflict.” A damning indictment that sounds suspiciously like a spy flick.

From the 1980s Hollywood premise you would almost believe the Russian agents would hoist a red flag atop one of these cables and dance the Troika along the Irish shore, but apparently they didn’t, leaving the Times without evidence of this supposed Russian meddling.

Disproof

This case is an example of Hahaganda, a common tactic in pro-Kremlin disinformation aimed at discrediting an opponent's claims through sarcasm and ridicule.

The article in the Times is based on an assessment of the Irish security services of an operation that took place in 2019, in which Russia intended to use technology to monitor data exchanges on the underseas cables to give Moscow an insight into internet communications. The agents in question were also monitored mapping Dublin Port, resulting in security increases at a number of landing sites around the Irish coastline.

Ukraine violates the terms of the deal with Gazprom

The Ukrainian company Naftogaz is filing new lawsuits against the Russian (company) Gazprom. Ukraine was supposed to abandon all far-fetched claims against Gazprom. This is in accordance with the terms of the contract between the companies concluded in December 2019.

Disproof

An unfounded, recurrent, narrative that Naftogaz of Ukraine blackmails Russia. The claim of the Ukrainian company Naftogaz against Russia because of lost assets in the Crimea in mentioned, but nothing is against Gazprom. The trial has been going on for several years, and the Permanent Court of Arbitration is in charge of the case. Naftogaz demands compensation of $5 billion from Russia for the loss of assets as a result of the occupation of Crimea. Including interest, this amount has grown to $8 billion. In 2019, the Court found in favour of Naftogaz, concluding that Russia is liable for the unlawful seizure of Naftogaz assets in Crimea under the bilateral investment treaty between Ukraine and Russia. At the moment, the second stage of the arbitration proceedings has begun which will determine the amount of compensation for Naftogaz's losses. Naftogaz claims that the agreement reached in December 2019 with Gazprom deals exclusively with gas transit issues, while the lawsuit that the Arbitration Court in The Hague is considering involves a completely different area. The difference is that Ukraine already nullified its claims directly against Gazprom for disrupting contracts for gas supplies to the EU, but did not agree to terminate trials against Russia because of lost assets in occupied Crimea. “Why are we suing if, before the New Year, we entered into a settlement? We concluded an agreement with Gazprom, and the Russian Federation is the second side of this process” Naftogaz reported. Background: The agreement between Naftogaz and Gazprom was reached at the end of December 2019. Gazprom paid Naftogaz about $ 3 billion in compensation for neglecting the terms of the previous contract for gas transit through the Ukrainian gas transport system to the European Union. It is on this key issue that Naftogaz previously won a trial against Gazprom.