The European Union will not destroy the Eastern Partnership, because this partnership represents for the EU an anti-Russian format and a leash that it throws around the neck of Eastern European countries, thus controlling them.
A critical stance of the democratic processes in Russia is part of the West's long-term policy. In fact, this is a consistent and recurring policy; whatever happens in the Russian elections, they will always be "bad", and whatever happens in the elections in Ukraine, Moldova, or the Baltic states, they will always be "good" if they achieve the desired (Western) result.
This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West's double standards when dealing with Russia versus Ukraine and the Baltic States, where, according to the narrative, the West turns a blind eye to violations of human rights and democratic principles that occur there.
However, the differences in the integrity of the electoral processes between Russia on the one hand, Ukraine, Moldova, and the Baltic states on the other is more than just imagined. In the 2020 Democracy Index, Russia scored a low of 2.17 out of 10 in the "electoral process and pluralism" indicator. On the other hand, Ukraine scored 8.25 and Moldova 7, while the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all scored 9.58.
Additionally, Russia has been widely accused of having little political plurality. One of the most valuable weapons in the Kremlin's arsenal is its power to control who can run in elections - and indirectly guide their campaign. Moscow “has tried to create the semblance of competition”, says The Times, allowing other candidates to take part, whilst the more vocal anti-Putin voices are quickly pushed out of the race.
In 2015, politician Boris Nemtsov, a prominent critic of Putin’s government, was assassinated in Moscow and another anti-corruption campaigner and Putin critic, Alexei Navalny, has been barred from running for the presidency. Navalny was convicted of embezzlement in a Russian court, meaning he couldn't run for election, although he denied the charges and said they were politically motivated before he suffered an attempted assignation attempt in August 2020.