Disinfo: European countries are building “an axis of friendship” with Russia

Summary

Some analysts insist that the coronavirus is forcing many European countries to build an axis of friendship with Russia. They highlight what happened in Italy where Russia sent medical gear and assistance in its fight against the coronavirus when Rome’s EU partners appeared reluctant to help. They add that Berlin and Paris are also thinking about doing the same. One of the reasons accelerating this trend is the widening competition between the United States and China that forces many EU member states to seek to include Russia in a new security architecture in Europe. In this context, politicians and analysts in Greece are asking why Athens is not trying to do the same and remains so attached to the West.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation attack on the European Union's response to the coronavirus, predicting its decline. Read more about the EU's response to the coronavirus here. More specifically, Germany, France, Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland have sent millions of masks and other medical gear to Italy, while the report by La Stampa said that most of the Russian assistance was useless.

The EU's position towards Russia has not changed. EU sanctions against Russia were adopted in 2014 in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea. On 12 December 2019, EU leaders unanimously agreed to roll over the economic sanctions on Russia for another six months, until 31 July 2020.

Lastly, no officials statements have been made by Greek officials or analysts concerning closer relations between Athens and Moscow. Greece has since the beginning worked with the EU authorities and its EU partners on ways to fight the pandemic and mitigate its economic and social impact. Solidarity in practice was also evident by the commitment of EU member states to accept the relocation of unaccompanied minors from Greek migrants' hotspots during the pandemic.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue193
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Greek
  • Country: EU, Italy, Greece, Russia, Germany, France
  • Keywords: coronavirus, EU, EU disintegration, 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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