Disinfo: European solidarity does not exist

Summary

The ban on exports of medicines and equipment from the European Union, introduced due to coronavirus, shows that European solidarity does not exist.

Disproof

This message claims inefficient governance in the EU and is consistent with a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the EU's and other Western states' inability to deal with a crisis, and divisions in alliances.

However, The European Commission already announced that it will use all the instruments at its disposal to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic. Across the European Union, countries, regions and cities are helping their neighbours with the treatment of patients, protection of health workers and repatriation of the citizens amongst others. More about the European response to the outbreak can be found here.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Italy, Spain, Portugal, and possibly even France are in line to exit the EU, that a number of EU countries teeter on the brink of default, and that the EU is rotten and countries are leaving it.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: EU, Azerbaijan
  • 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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Anti-Russian exercises might be cancelled due to the coronavirus

Coronavirus has changed the alignment in the military. NATO exercises Defender Europe failed. A cancellation of exercises planned for spring is possible. The Defender Europe 2020 exercises should be held in several European countries along the western border of Russia in April-May of this year. And they are considered anti-Russian.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West/ NATO threatening or encircling Russia and the US-led military exercise "Defender-Europe 2020". Whilst it is true that this exercise has been stopped due to coronavirus, it is untrue to say they are aimed or targeted at Russia. US Major General Andrew Rohling Deputy Commanding General for the US Army in Europe, informs that the US-led exercise "Defender 2020" is an American exercise with 18 NATO partner countries. Rohling emphasises that the aim of the exercise is not to target any country, but rather to test strategic readiness and how to react to a crisis.

See other examples of disinformation about NATO in our database, such as its never-ending provocations, its attempts to block Moscow in its sphere of influence, the Alliance's permanent targeting of Russia and Belarus, its role as a US subjugation tool for other countries and its unreliability to defend its members or its plans to continue attacking other countries.

Coronavirus – the end of globalisation

Coronavirus destroys the idea of an open and global world. In an attempt to stop the pandemic, countries are taking the most stringent and unprecedented measures – right up to closing borders.

Disproof

An apocalyptic narrative, depicting the coronavirus as a "plague" that might lead to the end of civilisation as we know it. EU, national and international bodies are coordinating measures to handle the spread of the contagion, treat the infected and maintain societal functions. In fact, the Schengen Borders Code provides Member States with the capability of temporarily reintroducing border control at the internal borders in the event that a serious threat to public policy or internal security has been established.

The narrative of the "imminent collapse" is one of the core instruments of pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets, used to sow discord, panic and diminish trust in national authorities, EU and international institutions. Read about the EU's response to the coronavirus here.

Sweden declines treatment for coronavirus because virus is safe

Sweden is one of the few countries that has not closed its borders; all educational institutions, cafes, restaurants, and gyms continue to work here. Swedish scientists say coronavirus is safe. There is a known case of a doctor who is infected with the virus, but continues to operate at his workplace in the hospital.

Disproof

An unfounded coronavirus conspiracy theory

As of 23 March 2020, there were 1906 cases of confirmed coronavirus infections in Sweden, and 21 people there have died. The Swedish Public Health Authority's highest priority is to protect the public. It has declared that an ‘extraordinary situation’ exists in Sweden