Disinfo: Response measures to coronavirus demonstrate the decline of the US and the EU

Summary

Response measures to the spread of COVID-19 demonstrate that NATO countries will lose in the global competition and in case of serious external threat, NATO countries will quarrel. Three conclusions can be drawn from the spread of coronavirus. First, the US will betray Europe at the earliest opportunity, they will not defend the Baltic states in case of military aggression. Second, the EU will collapse. Deep divisions among EU countries will become even deeper after the coronavirus. The EU’s migration crisis pushed the UK towards Brexit, similarly the absence of solidarity in combating coronavirus may provoke Italy’s exit from the EU. Third, Russia and China turn out to be more successful than the US and the EU. The latter’s status of promised land is turning into an exclusion zone. Russia and many non-Western countries proved to be more effective in addressing new threats. This means that the West’s global role will decrease even faster than before.

Disproof

Attempt to discredit the NATO, US, and the EU. It is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about the imminent collapse of the EU and other Western states and organisations and the US as an unreliable ally which does not care about the Baltic states. Read our past analysis 5 Common Pro-Kremlin Disinformation Narratives to learn more about this and the other most frequent propagandistic narratives.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the U.S. will easily betray the Baltic states and hand them over to Russia, that Italy, Spain, Portugal, and possibly even France are in line to exit the EU, that a number of EU countries teeter on the brink of default, and that the EU is rotten and countries are leaving it.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 189
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Italy, China, Latvia, Russia, Baltic states, Estonia, Lithuania, US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory, Brexit

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Coronavirus is a nail in the coffin of the EU

This (the situation caused by the coronavirus) is certainly the nail in the coffin of the European Union as an idea and a system. Where is the mutual assistance between EU states? Where are the measures that should quickly and effectively stop the spreading of this pandemic from one country to another? Italians are so furious. They hoped that EU neighbours would help them, but they are being stamped down. They were put in a position where doctors must choose who lives and who dies. (…) Eastern Europe is simply left to its own devices.

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 EUR 37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector.

The Baltic states may not survive the coronavirus-related economic crisis

The coronavirus attacked all foundations of beneficial post-Soviet model of the Baltic states’ existence. In the light of a coronavirus-related economic crisis the EU will radically cut subsidies for the Baltic states’ agriculture and infrastructural projects such as Rail Baltica. A total termination of EU subsidies to the Eastern European countries – another pillar of the Baltic states’ economies –  cannot be ruled out. The Baltic states may not survive so considerable economic losses.

Disproof

This case is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about socio-economic degradation in the Baltic States as opposed to their alleged well-being under the USSR and EU's imminent collapse due to coronavirus epidemic. In fact, the economic situation of all three Baltic States is strong and demonstrates some of the leading economic growth indicators in the EU. The dynamics over the past years are available here.

Read earlier disinformation cases alleging that coronavirus and economic crisis caught the EU by surprise because of its Russophobia, that the Baltic states are dying because they chose not to be with Russia, that Lithuania will be depopulated in 20 years, that the EU intentionally destroyed economies of the Baltic states, and that they have lost industry, agriculture, and population as a result of EU membership.

Coronavirus is a colour revolution technology

The current coronavirus pandemic can be compare to the technology of “colour revolutions.” In fact, the same technology is being worked out, but with different materials. We get the same technology and the hysteria around it. The training manual is a little bit different, but we see the same signs, the same blanks, and even the same goals. The goal is not to change only one country but the world order to suit someone’s interests. Now, this technology is being developed on a global scale and this is the main problem. We are faced with a new type of weapon of mass destruction, a psychological weapon that affects hundreds of millions of people. It doesn’t affect the lungs, it affects the brain and makes people an ordinary dumb herd, the cattle that run where they are told to run.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory, no evidence given. One of many recurring Kremlin disinformation narratives claiming that the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus is man-made. Consistent with a narrative suggesting that the West is using biological weapons to stage "colour revolutions" in other countries.

COVID-19 is not a biological weapon and it was not developed as an instrument to provoke "colour revolutions". A recent analysis of the genome sequence of SARS-CoV-2 virus found no evidence that it was developed artificially in a lab or otherwise engineered. Most probably the disease originated in a Wuhan wet market. The virus comes from a family of viruses originating in animals that include other viruses such as SARS and MERS. It was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in central China and has been rapidly spreading across the world, with cases being reported in 168 countries, territories and areas by 19 March 2020.