Disinfo: Merkel suffered an attack of Russophobia during the German-Ukrainian economic forum

Summary

Merkel suffered another attack of Russophobia at the fourth German-Ukrainian economic forum. Merkel is still trying with all her might to ignore the real state of affairs, which is that Crimea has returned to Russia for good and that Ukraine is entirely to blame for the lack of progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements on Donbas.

Disproof

A recurring disinformation claim attempting to legitimatise Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. In this case, it was done through a hyperbolic metaphor aiming to undermine the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel.

The remarks that were labelled as Russophobia were made by Angela Merkel during the virtual opening of the fourth edition of the German-Ukrainian Business Forum on 19 March. The Chancellor stated that Germany remains committed to Ukraine’s territorial integrity and rejects the illegal annexation of Crimea. Merkel also reaffirmed that for Germany it is important that the EU reacts decisively on the issue of Crimea as well as on the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

Labelling criticism of Russia as Russophobia is a classic move used by pro-Kremlin to diverge attention from uncomfortable questions. No international body recognises the illegal annexation of Crimea. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”, stating that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

The European Union does not recognise and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order. In response to the illegal annexation of Crimea, the EU has imposed restrictive measures against the Russian Federation. In June 2020, the European Council decided to renew the sanctions introduced in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation until 23 June 2021.

As for the Minsk agreements, UkraineGermany and France have constantly emphasised their commitment to implement the Minsk agreements. Ukraine is trying to avoid a legal vacuum in its national legislation regarding certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, demonstrating its commitment to implement the Minsk agreements. Ukraine also proposed to conduct local elections in Donbas on condition that the security situation is normalised.

Check previous disinformation narratives in our database alleging that the EU has accepted Crimea's incorporation into Russia and that the Crimean people chose to be with Russia through the democratic procedure; or that Crimea never belonged to Ukraine and that it is impossible to recognize the annexation of Crimea because it never happened.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 236
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Germany, Ukraine, Russia, EU
  • Keywords: Angela Merkel, Russophobia, illegal annexation, Crimea, Minsk agreements
see more

Joe Biden wants to provoke a New Cold War with Russia to distract the Americans from domestic problems

US President Joe Biden wants a new Cold War with Russia. Biden deliberately provokes Russia and seeks to bring about a new Cold War in order to distract US public opinion from domestic problems.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US and the West allegedly pursuing a belligerent and hostile agenda against Russia. The article’s message is also consistent with the pro-Kremlin narrative that seeks to discredit US President Joe Biden.

There is no evidence to support the article’s claim that the Biden administration is seeking to launch a “Cold War” with Russia. The Biden administration reacted to specific Kremlin actions that harm the US and its allies, such as ongoing aggression against Ukraine, cyber-attacks, influence operations targeting the US 2020 elections. The administration has also denounced the violation of human and civil rights in Russia, such as the poisoning of an opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

Ukraine never had a legal right to Crimea

Ukraine has never had the legal right to Crimea. The peninsula has always been and will always remain Russian land.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin media trying to deny that Crimea is a part of Ukraine.

Crimea has a very long and complicated history with many peoples living there. Its population was diverse and included in various historical periods Crimean Tatars, Turks, Ukrainians, Russians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Armenians, Italians from Genoa, Urums, Karaites etc. Alans, Scythians, Sarmatians, Goths, Cimmerians, Huns and other ancient nations had also lived there.

NATO needs Georgia as a military platform for a conflict potential with Russia

Georgia, just like the Baltics, is a platform for the deployment of foreign NATO troops in possible operations against Russia, the long-term strategy does not provide for anything else, the leadership of NATO does not care much about the safety of the population of these republics.

[The NATO] partners need Georgia for the constant development of a conflict potential with Russia, and as a platform for the likely deployment of the NATO troops in the regional theatre of military operations. By agreeing to be a kind of anti-Russian "instrument" of the US and NATO in the Caucasus, the Georgian leadership deliberately "frames" its people.

Of course, in a situation of local (regional) conflict, none of the Western partners will sign up for a catastrophe for Georgia's sake . "Younger" allies are needed by the collective West as a consumable in the long-term confrontation with major opponents.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO allegedly pursuing a belligerent and hostile agenda against Russia particularly in the Caucasus as well as about Georgia's cooperation with NATO.

The narrative is part of a larger campaign aiming to influence public support against Georgia's NATO aspirations and portraying neutrality as the most rational foreign policy choice for Georgia. Georgia's movement to join NATO was intensified after the de-facto occupation of a part of its territory.