Disinfo: Sanctions against Russia are unproductive


The EU sanctions have not yet produced the desired results. The Russian Foreign Ministry repeatedly stated that it was counterproductive to speak the language of sanctions with Russia.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that Western sanctions against Russia are unproductive and unjust.

Claims that the sanctions are ineffective are not backed by evidence. In reality most research support the view that sanctions, imposed on Russia by the US and EU following the annexation of Crimea and Russian meddling in the US election, have worked as planned, noting the drag they have imposed on Russia’s general economic
development since 2014: "This adverse effect most likely operates by depressing both foreign trade
and foreign capital flows into Russia. Russia’s own counter-sanctions have also had a clear negative
effect on the welfare of the average Russian household."

The false narrative about sanctions is often backed by false statistics. For example, the alleged economic growth of two percent does not withstand scrutiny. In 2018, the inflation rate went up and the rouble depreciated 20% against the dollar.

The sanctions are not an "anti-Russian policy" but were introduced after Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and the downing of the Malaysian passenger plane MH17. The latest decision on a six-month extension of EU sanctions against Russian was taken on the 12th of September 2019, lasting until March 2020.

Further reading on the Russian narrative about ineffective Western sanctions by StopFake. Similar cases here, here and here.


  • Reported in: Issue 166
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: EU, Anti-Russian, Sanctions


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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EP’s attempt to equalize the USSR and the Third Reich is criminal

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Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the EU, European Parliament and Russophobia. A similar case can be read here.

The resolution is not against Russia. It recalls the mass murders, genocide and deportations carried out by the Nazi and communist regimes as well as "condemns in the strongest terms the acts of aggression, crimes against humanity and mass human rights violations perpetrated by the Nazi, communist and other totalitarian regimes."

The EU is trying to break out of Washington’s control and occupation

The EU is trying to break out of Washington’s control. More and more American military formations are being deployed on the EU’s territory, under the pretext of protecting from Russia. The occupation takes place without war and without resistance. But the invaders do not come to provide to the occupied ones paradise on earth. Occupants need resources.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about US presence in Europe, portraying Europe as a vassal of the USA and trying to undermine the sovereignty of the West. Russian disinformation sources like to claim that almost all European countries are no longer truly sovereign and the United States dictate policies to the EU and its member states.

Europe is not occupied by the US. The EU Member States are sovereign countries and make sovereign decisions about their own security and policies. Possible NATO/ US military presence and support in the EU Member States is possible only on the basis of the clear request/ consent of the hosting nation. The US is an important ally to the EU but EU policy is not determined by the US, as explained by the EU High Representative.

Support for NATO in Ukraine is falling

The number of people who support Ukraine’s accession to NATO is falling. The number of people who are against NATO and who support the union with Russia, together, is bigger than the number of NATO supporters. This has not been happening for a long time.


This pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative suggests that Ukrainian pro-European and pro-NATO aspirations are weakening.

This is a manipulative claim since all available recent polls show the highest ever support for NATO membership in Ukraine. A June 2019 joint poll by the Sociological Group Rating and International Republican Institute shows that the number of NATO supporters in Ukraine reached a historical maximum. Today, 53% of Ukraine support accession to NATO; 29% are against.