DISINFO: Putin is winning and Europe will have to ease sanctions on Russia, says Politico
Putin confronted European leaders with the bitter truth, says Politico. According to this outlet, the strategy of the Russian president will force European countries to ease sanctions. His policy led the EU to understand that sooner or later the West will have to ease sanctions on Russia, wrote Matthew Karnihnig in an article for this outlet. The coming storm puts European leaders in face of a bitter truth: while Russia and Ukraine fight each other, the Kremlin is defending against Europe. According to Karnitschnig, a top European Commission official confirmed that “there is no doubt that Putin is winning in this regard”.
This is a deliberate distortion of the original article published by Politico Europe on 08 September 2022. None of these sentences attributed to this publication appear in the original story, titled “Putin’s attack on democracy is working. Just look at Europe”. The article says that the Kremlin is succeeding in its efforts to stir up polarisation and undermining democracy, but not that Europe or the West “will be forced to ease sanctions”. It doesn’t say either that “the Kremlin is defending against Europe”, nor that any European Commission official confirmed this aspect. Regarding to this quote, the article actually states: “The main goal of [Russia’s] efforts is not to convert Europeans into supporters of Russia (though the Kremlin would welcome that), but rather to polarize and destabilize Western politics to such a degree that voters don’t know what to believe. “There’s no question that Putin is winning in this regard,” said a senior Commission official.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in the 2022 State of the Union speech that "war is raging in Europe ... and sanctions are here to stay".
Distorting articles in Western media to make them appear as supporting pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives is a frequent technique of pro-Kremlin outlets. See other examples in our database, such as false claims that The New York Times reports that Russia is barely affected by sanctions, that Germany doesn’t trust Zelenskyy according to Der Spiegel, that The National Interest explained why the US should side with Russia in Ukraine; or that Foreign Policy explained why Washington needs a “Russian intervention”.