Disinfo: EU tries to finish off with Italy amid coronavirus, because the country opposed Russia sanctions

Summary

Europe is on the verge of a new split. European values are turning into ashes scattered through the empty streets of Italian cities. EU flags are burned in Italian courtyards and defiantly removed from the offices of deputies of the Italian parliament.

At the same time, no word was heard from the high tribunes in Brussels about helping the Apennine Peninsula. France sent an emergency plane for sick old people of Lombardy. Germany sent a resuscitation team to Milan. Where is all this? This is not and never was. But there is a statement by IMF Director Christine Lagarde, who decided not to lower interest rates on Italy’s debts to the European Union.

The great crises reveal the nature of people and states: the EU is trying to finish off Italy. Italian Prime Minister Conte proposed that the EU shares responsibility amid the pandemic and issues the so-called “coronabond,” bonds that all countries would support together. Spain agreed. But the process is hindered by wealthy Germany and France. Europe is drowning. And on board of this “Titanic”, passengers are divided into first and second class.

Brussels will now take advantage of the situation and try to drive Italy, like Greece, into debt so that in the future it will show greater flexibility and loyalty to Brussels. Because recently Italy has been marked by seditious ideas such as lifting sanctions against Russia.

The collapse in hospitals happened precisely because the EU demanded that the country optimises its medicine, there are only five thousand mechanical ventilation devices for 60 million Italians.

Disproof

These statements are untrue. EU member states have sent aid to Italy as follows.

France and Germany have delivered 2 million masks and tens of thousands of gowns to Italy, and French president Emmanuel Macron announced that this is just the start. As announced by Reuters, German hospitals with spare capacity welcomed their first coronavirus patients from Italy on March 24th. At the same time, some French patients with coronavirus are to be sent to the Czech Republic, since the country suffers itself from the pandemic and the Czech Republic has the possibility to accept patients

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's fiscal rules, has revised its State Aid rules and proposed to set up a EUR 37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector.

The Commission is further increasing its response by proposing to set up a €100 billion solidarity instrument to help workers keep their incomes and businesses stay afloat, called SURE. It is also proposing to redirect all available structural funds to the response to the coronavirus. To support scientific research into COVID-19, the European Commission earmarked 47,5 million EUR for shortlisted research projects that can improve epidemiology and public health, including preparedness and response to outbreaks.

More on EU repsonse to the COVID-19 outbreak here

BBC has published an analysis into the scope of the Russian delivery of supplies to Italy. More details here.

See more disinformation cases about the EU disintegration.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Italy, Germany, France
  • Keywords: coronavirus, EU disintegration

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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COVID-19 brings attention to US secret laboratories on the borders of Russia and China

If some time ago Beijing’s claims that US troops may have brought COVID-19 to China were seen as conspiracy theories, today most politicians all over the world started talking about their legitimacy. The US is known for its alarming activity in sponsoring laboratories of biological weapons, mostly in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia. In this (latter) country, we found one of the most prominent, the Lugar Lab, which is studying dangerous infectious diseases but hides the true reasons of its investigations, which can point to an eventual development of biological weapons. Available data suggests that the main targets of the US bacteriological threat are Russia and continental China. A Russian diplomatic source told journalists that it would be good if instead of playing propagandistic games around coronavirus, the US would clarify the purpose of its laboratories located near Russia and China.

Disproof

Recurrent Kremlin-led conspiracy theory not supported by any evidence. The mention to the Lugar Lab is significant, since this facility is a frequent target of Russian disinformation.

The Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research is a facility of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC), which became operational in August 2013. The Lugar centre is a top-tiered institution in NCDC’s laboratory network and serves as a reference laboratory for Georgia’s public health system. Read more about Lugar lab on Myth Detector.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic the end of the EU is approaching

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic the end of the EU is approaching. All the pillars of European integration are beginning to fall, one after another, with remarkable speed. For example, one of these pillars, called Schengen, has crumbled. The vision of a “common European space” has been revealed to be an illusion. Every country now cares only for itself. With the arrival of the pandemic, for instance, Germany even banned the export of masks to EU member states. It is difficult to speak of European solidarity with what is happening now.

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.

The Italian newspaper “La Stampa” spreads russophobic fake news on Russian coronavirus aid to Italy

The Italian newspaper “La Stampa” spreads russophobic fake news on Russian coronavirus aid to Italy

Disproof

Emerging pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that Russia has become a target of Russophopic campaigns related to the coronavirus pandemic. This narrative is consistent with the recurrent narrative aimed at discrediting mainstream Western media by claiming it is dominated by russophobia and spreads fake news.

On the 25th of March 2020, the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa published an article on the equipment and personnel (100 mostly military specialists in bacteriological warfare) sent recently by Russia to support Italy in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.