Disinfo: European sanctions against Russia do not work


European sanctions against Russia do not work; Germany and Europe want to be at war with Russia again.


This statement contains two recurring pro-Kremlin narratives. The first one claims that Western sanctions on Russia do not have any effect on the Russian economy and the second alleges that the EU wants a war with Russia.

The EU sanctions against Russia were adopted as a reaction to the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine.

The annexation of Crimea and the consequent imposing of sanctions by the West sparked a wave of net capital outflows. The Central Bank of Russia recorded in 2014 that net capital outflows from companies and banks reached $151.1 billion compared to $61 billion the year before.

According to research into the effect of sanctions, the cumulative export loss to Russia during 2014-2018 is estimated at EUR 30 billion (about -0.2% of EU’s GDP in 2018). While these sanctions do effect EU's economy, the EU-wide impacts of the export losses are estimated at less than 0.2% of total value-added and employment.

NATO, which includes 21 EU member states, does not want war with Russia and previously stated that their "exercises and military deployments are not directed against Russia." Instead, NATO remains open to meaningful dialogue with Russia. However, in response to Russia's aggressive actions against Ukraine, NATO suspended practical cooperation with Russia.


  • Reported in: Issue 223
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/12/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: EU, Russia, Ukraine, Germany
  • Keywords: economy, illegal annexation, Sanctions, Crimea, Warmongering


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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UK rushes to approve “NATO vaccine”

After the spectacular failure of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the UK is operating a “vaccine war” by authorising in a rush the US/German vaccine of Pfizer/BioNTech before the US and Germany, its own makers. This looks like a very “British” geopolitical manoeuvre of a war vaccine: “NATO’s vaccine”. Knowing of the legendary perfidy of the British, it is not surprising that the British try to control the geopolitical logistics of the vaccine at a global scale. They are so fanaticised that, after their own vaccine of AstraZeneca failed, they prefer to test a US/German vaccine than using the Russian Sputnik V – with a cost 7 times lower and that doesn’t require a -70ºC refrigeration, which requires an enormous additional cost- or the several Chinese vaccines.


This is part of a disinformation campaign aiming to promote the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and discredit Western vaccines, attempting to frame the British decision to authorise the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and purchase 40 million doses as a geopolitical decision influenced by NATO. Contrary to the claim, the Pfizer/BioNTech project is not “NATO’s vaccine”, but a public-private enterprise who was partially funded by the German government though not by the US authorities.

This disinformation campaign was launched after approval of the Sputnik V vaccine was met with scepticism and criticism, even by Russian specialists in the country. See other examples in our database, such as claims that Western attacks on the Russian coronavirus vaccine are a corporate Cold War against humanity; that a report on the Covid-19 situation in Russia aims to discredit the Sputnik V vaccine or that the UK launched a smear campaign against it; that British propaganda tries to dilute the failure of the AstraZeneca vaccine against the Sputnik V; that the US and the EU face multiple deaths out of fear of admitting Russia’s success against coronavirus; that the WHO confirmed that the Sputnik V was on Phase 3 of clinical testing already in August 2020; that the WHO and Microsoft sabotaged the Russian vaccine; that Europe is turning to Russia due to its desperate need for a vaccine; or that the West criticises the Sputnik V because it can’t accept Russia’s primacy and because its pharmaceutical companies will lose billions of dollars.

European cities forbid Christmas trees

Europe has become so loyal to Islam that the police no longer ever intervenes in riots in the Muslim regions. The police fear the officers will be beaten up, or convicted for excessive violence. So loyal that it has become forbidden to wear crosses at schools. In some towns it has become forbidden to put up Christmas trees and say “Merry Christmas”.


Recurring disinformation narrative about migration and alleged threats to Christianity in Europe.

Unfounded claims about Muslims posing a threat to Christmas have been debunked multiple times, see for example here and here.

Germany violated the Chemical Weapons Convention

Germany violated the Chemical Weapons Convention by refusing to collaborate with Russia in the situation over the Alexei Navalny poisoning.


Pro-Kremlin disinformation claiming that Germany did not collaborate with Russia in the investigation into the poisoning of Alexei Navalny and that Germany violated the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Regarding the collaboration between Germany and Russia during the investigation, Berlin provided data on Navalny to the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, of which Russia is a member. Berlin’s Justice Ministry also approved a request from Moscow for legal assistance in the investigation of the poisoning, and tasked state prosecutors with working with the Russian authorities.