Disinfo: The EU stance on Belarus is all about geopolitics, not human rights or democracy

Summary

The statements coming from the European Parliament and European capitals, especially from Lithuania, Estonia and Poland, about the political crisis in Belarus are not about Lukashenko, human rights or democracy, but about geopolitics. It is not a secret to anybody that this is a geopolitical fight over the post-Soviet space, and we have already seen this competition in other periods after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Disproof

This is part of a Russian disinformation campaign on Belarus based on recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives, portraying European and US reactions to post-electoral events in the country as an interference attempt, and popular protests against the results as a Western-led colour revolution, all part of a competition over influence in the post-Soviet space.

Contrary to the claim, the EU policy towards Belarus is indeed based on the promotion of human rights and democracy. Presidential elections celebrated in Belarus on August 9 were not monitored by independent experts, and are largely considered fraudulent by both international observers and a big part of the Belarusian society.

On 19 August 2020 the European Council called Belarus's elections neither free nor fair, condemned the violence against peaceful protesters, called for a complete and transparent investigation into all alleged abuses, and announced its decision to impose sanctions on a substantial number of individuals responsible for violence, repression, and election fraud.

See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives in Belarus, such as claims that the EU reaction to Lukashenko’s victory is an example of Western double standards; that the same lack of democracy and repression is present in EU countries that criticize them in Minsk; , and that the Ukrainian secret services may have planned terrorist attacks in Belarusian territory; that the West wants to prepare another Maidan in the country; or that Belarusians, Ukrainians and Russians are one single nation.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 208
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus, Poland
  • Keywords: European Parliament, EU, Democracy, Encircling Russia, Human rights, Alexander Lukashenko

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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The West criticises the Russian coronavirus vaccine because it can’t accept Russia’s primacy

The West fears that after Russia became the first country to offer a solution to the virus that is haunting the planet, Russian authority will project over the western in global public opinion. Of course, the richest and most powerful in the world can’t accept it. This explains the laughable and sceptic reception that the Russian vaccine Sputnik V got in the circles of the countries and pharmaceutical corporations that consider themselves the lords and keepers of global health.

Disproof

This is a mix of several recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about alleged anti-Russian bias in the West and plots against Russia’s greatness. Contrary to the claim, reservations and criticism of the Sputnik V vaccine is not caused by a Western refusal to accept Russia’s alleged primacy but by the fact that Russia hasn’t completed large trials to test the vaccine’s safety and efficacy, and rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could endanger people who receive it.

The World Health Organisation expressed some reservations about the procedure followed by Russia, initiating talks with Russian authorities about undertaking a review of the vaccine but refusing to endorse it right away. On August 2020, the WHO published a landscape of COVID-19 candidate vaccines, which considered the Russian project developed by Gamaleya Research Institute as being in Phase 1 of clinical testing.

The WHO and Microsoft sabotaged the Russian vaccine against coronavirus

The World Health Organisation became a mere branch of the foundation created by Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft. The ‘Sputnik moment’ after Russia announced the first vaccine against Covid-19 in the world arose the envy and the fury of Anglo-Saxon media, fond of globalism and pawns in the geopolitical and pharmacological vaccine race. What is more striking is that the controversial WHO joined the unfounded criticism of its sponsors. If one checks its 20 main donors, the result is disturbing: after the notorious exit of Donald Trump, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was left in the first place, followed by the United Kingdom, and the controversial GAVI Alliance in the fourth place. Such an Anglo-Saxon globalist project to control the health of humankind!

Disproof

Conspiracy theory not based on any evidence, mixing several recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives against Bill Gates and global vaccination. This is part of a Russian disinformation campaign accusing international bodies and Western institutions of having a hidden agenda, launched after the announcement of the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V was met with scepticism and criticism, even by Russian specialists.

Contrary to the claim, the World Health Organisation didn’t sabotage the vaccine, but rather initiated talks with Russian authorities about undertaking a review of the vaccine. However, it refused to endorse it right away and expressed some reservations about the procedure followed by Russia, given that the country hasn’t completed large trials to test the vaccine’s safety and efficacy and experts consider that rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could endanger people who receive it. On August 2020, the WHO published a landscape of COVID-19 candidate vaccines, which considered the Russian project developed by Gamaleya Research Institute as being in Phase 1 of clinical testing yet.

Russia has never attempted to influence democratic processes in any country

Russia has never attempted to influence democratic processes in any country and all such allegations are absolutely unfounded

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative attempting to depict accusations of Russian meddling in Western democratic processes as factually unfounded and driven by "Russophobia".

Independent research, media investigations and parliamentary inquiries have uncovered evidence linking Russian state actors with interference in various electoral processes, including the 2016 Brexit vote, the 2017 French Presidential elections, the 2017 German Parliamentary elections, the 2016 constitutional referendum in Italy and the Dutch referendum on the EU’s Association Agreement with Ukraine.