Disinfo: Lithuanian authorities criticise the Belarusian NPP to divert public attention from the catastrophic state of economy

Summary

The Lithuanian economy is in a catastrophic state, it resembles a sinking Titanic. Against the background of total economic and political insolvency, Lithuania has found a universal lifesaver, which diverts public attention, that is the Belarusian nuclear power plant. The Belarusian NPP, which is constructed in close cooperation with Russia, is an ideal target for the Lithuanian political establishment, because it hates Belarus and Russia to the extent that is hard to describe. Astravets NPP also reminds Lithuania of its scandalous energy failures. Generally, Lithuania is a an absolute energy loser. Lithuania will concentrate all efforts on discrediting not just the Astravets NPP, but also Belarus and Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobic, economically degrading of the Baltic states. Lithuania opposes the construction of the Astravets Nuclear power Plant (NPP) based on the position that the project does not comply with the international standards of environmental protection and nuclear safety, and is built on the site that was not duly justified over alternatives. On 7 June 2011, Lithuania lodged a complaint with the Implementing Committee of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (the Espoo Convention) on the Astravets nuclear power plant case. The February 2019 draft decision of the Meeting of the Parties of the Espoo Convention acknowledged that Belarus had failed to comply with some Convention provisions and encouraged Belarus and Lithuania to continue bilateral expert consultations. On 20 April 2017, the Lithuanian parliament passed a bill imposing a ban on import of electricity from Belarus' nuclear power plant in Astravets. One 5 May 2020, the Lithuanian parliament passed a resolution tasking the government to take even more active steps to ensure that electricity generated by Astravets NPP has no access to the Lithuanian market.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Lithuania fights against Belarusian NPP on the orders of Sweden and Finland, Dalia Grybauskaitė's opposition to the NPP is an attempt to hide Lithuania's own failures in nuclear power, that the "Chernobyl" series aimed to discredit the Belarusian power plant and Belarus-Russia relations, and that Lithuania opposes Belarusian NPP out of jealousy for Pompeo's visit to Belarus.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 199
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/05/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus, Lithuania, Russia
  • Keywords: Nuclear issues, Economic difficulties, Russophobia, Baltic states
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Ukraine is in the hands of nationalists and American puppets

Odesa is occupied by an enemy. “Bandera’s ideology” is flourishing in Ukraine and the country’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is only a pawn. In fact, the power in Ukraine is in the hands of nationalists, who are the “puppets” of the United States of America.

Disproof

This is a mix of recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives, painting Ukrainian politics as dominated by fascist/Nazi groups and Ukrainian politicians being puppets of the West. Ukraine is not controlled by any foreign government. While its sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by most of the free world, they were violated by Russia in 2014. The EU works closely with Ukraine and supports the democratic development of Ukraine in accordance with the UN Charter’s principles of non-interference into internal affairs and respect towards territorial integrity and political independence. The US policy is focused on strengthening a stable, democratic, prosperous and free Ukraine, more closely integrated into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures. As for the Nazis ruling Ukraine, far-right groups had a very limited presence during the Euromaidan, contrary to the Kremlin's narrative, and have suffered spectacular defeats in every national election since 2014. See similar cases: Zelenskyy is unable to handle the Ukronazis, Ukraine is run by pro-EU oligarchic Nazis supported by the US.

Russia has the right to reclaim the original Russian lands from Ukraine

There should be friendly states along the perimeter of the Russian Federation that recognise the special role of Russia in the post-Soviet space. States that pursue an anti-Russian policy must understand: Russia will not make any concessions. Russia has all the rights to reclaim the original Russian lands of southeastern Ukraine.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narrative questioning Ukrainian statehood. Ukraine is a well-defined nation-state that has preserved language, literature and identity, despite foreign rule for long periods of time. It is a sovereign state whose borders are guaranteed by international agreements but were violated by Russia, which started a war in Ukraine in 2014. See also previous narratives claiming that there is no Ukraine, that Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians are the same nation, and that Ukrainians are Russians, not Ukrainians.

A junta took power in Ukraine after 2013-2014 revolution

These militants [Euromaidan participants] know well that without them, without their criminal actions to seize power by force, there would be no Poroshenko or Turchinov, who are correctly called the junta. They gained legitimacy later, already in a destroyed and torn country, where fascists from the streets took power. “The street” understands this perfectly. The militants have reasons to consider themselves a protected caste because they are responsible for the legitimacy of this regime, which took power after the February 2014 events.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the 2013-14 protests in Kyiv as a coup that brought to power a fascist regime. Ukraine is not governed by a junta. Democratic, competitive and generally well-organised presidential and parliamentary elections were held in 2014 and local elections in 2015. The EU welcomed this progress. The OSCE, which observed all these elections on the ground, characterised the presidential elections as showing the "clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms." The 2019 early parliamentary elections, according to the preliminary statement of the OSCE, were efficiently run and respected fundamental freedoms. The European Parliament election observation delegation to Ukraine said in a statement that notwithstanding the fact that the elections were taking place a few months earlier than planned, one can undoubtedly say that they were competitive, well-administered and managed in an efficient way. The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013 – called "Maidan", or "Euromaidan" – were a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last-minute U-turn when, after seven years of negotiation, he refused to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement and halted progress towards Ukraine's closer relationship with the EU due to Russian pressure. The protesters' demands included constitutional reform, a stronger role for parliament, formation of a government of national unity, an end to corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence. For similar cases, see here.