Disinfo: For the EU, Ukraine is only a reservoir of materials and cheap labor

Summary

Ukraine is a reservoir of raw materials and cheap labour for the European Union. Besides, the country has finally turned into a market where the EU sells its lowest quality goods.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on EU-Ukrainian relations. Ukraine is neither a reservoir of raw materials, cheap labour for the EU nor a market for low quality goods. The EU has stated, on many occasions, that Ukraine is a priority partner for the EU. It supports Ukraine in ensuring a stable, prosperous and democratic future for its citizens and is unwavering in its support for Ukraine’s independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty. The Association Agreement (AA), including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) signed in 2014, is the main tool for bringing Ukraine and the EU closer together, promoting deeper political ties, stronger economic links and respect for common values. Since 2014, the EU and the Financial Institutions have mobilised more than €15 billion in grants and loans to support the reform process, with strong conditionality on continued progress. Since 23 April 2014, Ukraine benefits from the EU Autonomous trade preferences (ATP) which were introduced by the Regulation (EU) No 374/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 as an element of a broad package of the EU economic and financial support of Ukraine. The above-mentioned preferences eliminate EU import duties on 94.7% of industrial goods and 83.4% of agricultural goods and foodstuff originating in Ukraine. It also foresees the application of the duty-free tariff quotas towards a number of agricultural products. See other disinformation cases in our database relating to the statehood of Ukraine: that the West controls the Ukrainian economy and pumps out its resources, that the EU Association Agreement made Ukraine a colony of the EU, that Ukraine is a fake country and Ukrainian ideology was created to split the Russian nation, and that Ukraine is a collapsing, degrading state with no sovereignty and rule of law.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 208
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: EU, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Abandoned Ukraine
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Ukraine may use Belarus elections as a pretext for intensifying hostilities in Donbas

In the context of possible aggravation of the situation in Belarus, when, after the elections and Lukashenko’s probable victory, the Belarusian opposition will try to start street protests, Ukraine may try to use this situation to intensify hostilities in Donbas and solve its problems. The elections in Belarus create a convenient situation, not only to dig a rusty nail in the Russian-Belarusian problems but also to use these problems and possible protests in Minsk as a cover-up for military operations in Donbas.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory advancing a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine claiming that the Ukrainian side violates the ceasefire agreement in Donbas. As for the elections in Belarus, the EU stated that they were neither free nor fair. The full and comprehensive ceasefire agreement was established in Donbas on July 27, 2020. The new agreement was certified in the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk as part of the implementation of the Minsk agreements. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the truce is the most important point of the agreements reached at the Normandy summit in Paris. The implementation of these agreements is a guarantee of a gradual movement towards peace in Donbas. The effectiveness of the ceasefire is confirmed by the level of tension on the front line, which significantly eased in the past two weeks. Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasised that Ukraine is doing its best to maintain the ceasefire and save the lives of servicemen. Since the beginning of the ceasefire, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission recorded 251 violations, which is much lower than before the ceasefire came into force. On average there were 700-800 violations a day in 2019. On 5 August, the Mission recorded no violations for the first time. See earlier disinformation narratives stating that the government in Kyiv is sabotaging the peace in Donbas, that the Ukrainian side does not abide by the Minsk agreements or that only Ukraine violates the ceasefire regime in Donbas.

The EU provides practically no assistance to Ukraine

From the first day of Ukraine gaining independence, the West continued to view Ukraine as part of the former Soviet Union, which explains the openly predatory and colonial policy towards the country on the part of Europe. The European Union provides practically no assistance to Ukraine.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about abandoned Ukraine. Ukraine is a sovereign country and priority partner for the European Union. In total, since 2014, the EU and European financial institutions have allocated a package of over €15 billion in grants and loans to support the reform process in Ukraine. Within the framework of the association agreement, a free trade zone was created between Ukraine and the EU. In 2019, trade between Ukraine and the EU reached €44.6 billion. Since 2014, more than €205 million has been invested in the transport sector. The EU is also providing €53 million to support the modernisation of secondary education and vocational education. Since 2014, over €40 million has been allocated to support civil society in Ukraine. The U-LEAD with Europe program is supporting the decentralisation reform that enhances the transparency and accountability of local and regional governments and their ability to deliver better services. The total amount is €130 million. The EU continues to support anti-corruption organisations in Ukraine. A total of €30 million has been allocated for the fight against corruption. Ukraine has been allocated an individual assistance package during the COVID-19 pandemic in the amount of over €190 million. The EU, along with its member states, is the largest donor of humanitarian aid for eastern Ukraine. The people most affected by the conflict received €141.8 million in financial assistance. The €50 million EU Support to the East of Ukraine program supports reforms in conflict-affected areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Additional support (€6 million) has also been earmarked for mine clearance and psychological assistance programs. European financial institutions are also targeting conflict-affected areas; the European Investment Bank has allocated a package of €200 million for the early restoration of damaged infrastructure.

RT France is a French channel

RT France is a French channel, composed of French journalists. It has signed an agreement with the French media authority, has a code of ethics, journalists’ unions and an ethics’ committee. Twitter doesn’t care about all this and labels its account “State-affiliated media, Russia”.

Disproof

Recurrent disinformation message about the French branch of RT. RT France cannot be considered as a French channel as it was created and continues to be financed and editorially controlled by Russian state. Read more here. Unlike other branches the logo of RT in French is not labelled "RT in French" but "RT France". Any connection to Russia is not very noticeable from this name as in French RT also means Radio-Télévision. In August 2020, the social network Twitter decided to label RT 's account with "State-affiliated media, Russia" because of Russian funding and the lack of editorial independence. To read similar stories: RT France is a French press group, Sputnik and RT situation in France is extremely difficult and French authorities called to boycott those media, Latvian authorities blinded by Russophobia: there is no link between Dmitry Kiselyov and RT.