Disinfo: In conditions of an epidemic, the EU continues to promote the concept of the “Russian enemy”

Summary

The Russian aid to Italy was perceived in quite a strange way by some European media – French President Emmanuel Macron had also shown concerns about it. This situation shows that the EU continues to keep the concept of the Russian enemy alive. A similar concept of the “Chinese enemy” appeared in the USA as there were attempts to call the Coronavirus a “Chinese virus”. It is pure racism – unfortunately, there will be no quick reconciliation.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign around the Coronavirus epidemic and the alleged Russophobic policies of the European Union. It promotes the idea that in the situation of the Coronavirus pandemic, the West should forget about all existing political disagreements with Russia. Evidence is emerging that there are significant shortcomings with the aid sent by Russia, with one report estimating that up to 80% of this aid is ineffective. The Russian aid delivered to Italy is mainly composed of various equipment for disinfecting the streets. This type of equipment is not urgently required in Italy and has been described as a Russian “geopolitical and diplomatic charm offensive”. See other disinformation messages connected to the Coronavirus epidemics such as Coronavirus will cause the dissolution of the EU and NATO, Pentagon-funded biological laboratories involved in creation of Coronavirus, The Baltic states may not survive the coronavirus-related economic crisis and Germany called for lifting sanctions against Russia because of Coronavirus.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Polish
  • Country: EU, China, Italy, Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Emmanuel Macron, Anti-Russian, Conspiracy theory, Russophobia
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The EU has collapsed, countries are building borders

The European Union has collapsed. The countries are beginning to build borders: between Poland and Germany, between Germany and France, between the Czech Republic and Austria. [There are] borders, borders, borders…

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapse. It also aims to pit EU member states against each other in an attempt to undermine European solidarity - another recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation tactic. There is no evidence to support the doomsday claim that the pandemic is resulting in the death or obsolescence of the EU. EU Member States are helping each other in this crisis; for example, German hospitals offering to treat critical coronavirus patients from France as well as taking in patients from Italy and the Czech Republic sending masks to Italy. Read more about the EU's response here and here.

EU's health and safety policies failed, EU feels the threat of losing its power

[…] The coronavirus epidemic marks the beginning of an era of crisis for pan-European identity and solidarity. National borders between the EU countries, closed by [state] governments, have become a clear illustration of [the EU’s] inefficiency and its failed health and safety policies. Therefore, all the bureaucratic structures of the EU, as well as political forces oriented towards the globalist agenda, feel a clear threat of losing their power.

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapse. It also aims to pit EU member states against each other in an attempt to undermine European solidarity - another recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation tactic. There is no evidence to support the doomsday claim that the pandemic is resulting in the death or obsolescence of the EU. To cushion the blow to people’s livelihoods and the economy, the European Commission has adopted a comprehensive economic response to the outbreak, applied the full flexibility of the EU fiscal rules, has revised its State Aid rules and proposed to set up a €37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector. To provide all EU Member States with essential medical equipment, the EU has created the European stockpile of ventilators, masks and lab supplies. This medical and protective equipment is available to any EU country. The Commission will finance 90% of this stockpile through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (RescEU). EU Member States are also helping each other in this crisis, for example German hospitals offering to treat critical coronavirus patients from France as well as taking in patients from Italy and the Czech Republic sending masks to Italy. Read more about the EU's response here and here.

Russian scientists created 3 drugs against coronavirus

Russian scientists created 3 drugs that could potentially be used against the coronavirus COVID-19 – Remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine/ chloroquine, and fortepren.

Disproof

None of the listed drugs was created in Russia. Remdevisir was developed by Gilead Sciences for Ebola virus. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are oral prescription drugs that have been used for the treatment of malaria and were added as a recommended antiviral for the treatment of COVID-19 in China. Fortepren was created back in 2016 and has been recommended for patients with chronic recurrent herpes. CDC approved Remdevisir and Hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine as therapeutic options for COVID-19 patients. Read more disinformation cases about coronavirus here.