One might suspect that the hysteria [around the COVID-19 outbreak] is an attempt to distract from the real issues. The time selected for this is ideal, and this is not a coincidence.
Germany called for the lifting of sanctions against Russia because of the coronavirus. Germany should rethink its attitude towards Russia and lift unproductive sanctions in light of the new coronavirus pandemic.
Misleading title and the text that give readers the false impression that lifting sanctions on Russia is the position of the German authorities. It also pushes a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that sanctions against Russia are senseless and ineffective. In fact, the sanctions from the US and the EU (including Germany) do not aim to punish Russia or the Russian people but were introduced to send a clear signal to the Russian government after Russia's illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula, deployment of armed formations in eastern Ukraine, and the downing of the Malaysian passenger plane MH17. The first round of EU sanctions against Russia was introduced on 17 March 2014. Later, in view of Russia's actions destabilising the situation in eastern Ukraine, the EU imposed economic sanctions in July 2014 and reinforced them in September 2014. The latest decision on a six-month extension of EU sanctions against Russia was taken in December 2019, to last until 31 July 2020. The false narrative about sanctions being unproductive is often backed by false statistics. For example, the alleged economic growth of two percent does not withstand scrutiny. In 2018, the inflation rate went up and the rouble depreciated 20% against the dollar. EUvsDisinfo has demonstrated that Russian media generalises singular incidents very often in order to produce stories that fit the Kremlin’s narrative. Read similar cases on Western sanctions alleging that the EU suffers from its own sanctions more than Russia, EU sanctions against Russia are not democratic and that European Council sanctions are irrational and unjustified.