Disinfo: Sanctions on Syria are illegal

Summary

Sanctions against Syria – whether from European countries or the United States – are illegal.

Disproof

In 2005, by UNSC Resolution 1636, the UN Security Council imposed travel bans and asset freezes on people suspected of being involved in the 14 February 2005 terrorist bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, in which Syria was implicated by a UN report.

The EU implemented those measures by adopting Council Common Position 2005/888/CFSP and Council Regulation (EC) No 305/2006.

More sanctions were imposed in response to the Syrian government’s support of international terrorism and violations against democratic and human rights in the country after the war began in 2011, and have been strengthened several times due to escalating violence in the region.

On 27 May 2013, the Council of the EU adopted conclusions in which it condemned the violence and the continued widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights in Syria, the massacres committed by the Syrian armed forces and its militias, all instances of hostage-taking of peacekeepers, and the atrocities committed by the Syrian regime. It expressed concern for military operations conducted by the regime and its supporters, as well as the rise of religiously or ethnically motivated violence. In view of the seriousness of the situation, on 31 May 2013, the Council of the EU adopted restrictive measures against Syria in numerous fields.

The latest extension of the EU sanctions regime against Syria was adopted in May 2019 for one year. EU sanctions are targeted at the Syrian regime and its policies. The sanctions include an oil embargo, restrictions on certain investments, a freeze of the assets of the Syrian central bank held in the EU, export restrictions on equipment and technology that might be used for internal repression as well as on equipment and technology for the monitoring or interception of internet or telephone communications.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 177
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/12/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Syria, US
  • Keywords: European Union, Sanctions, Syrian War
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Russian-Ukrainian conflict only appeared after the coup in Kyiv

The problems between Russia and Ukraine arose after the coup in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in 2014. This led to the Crimean region to leave the administrative dependence of the Republic of Ukraine and return to the arms of the Russian homeland. The coup in Kyiv also led to the start of the armed conflict in southeast Ukraine between the new Ukrainian regime and the opponents of the coup in the Donbas region.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the 2013-14 protests in Kyiv as a coup orchestrated by the West.

There was no coup in Ukraine six years ago. 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 as a result of 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.

Nazis and Vatican oppose the Union State between Belarus and Russia

There should be a strong information and education stream of truth telling that Belarusians and Great Russians are integral branches of one, Russian people, which was artificially divided. The reunification of divided Russian people of Great, Little, and White Rus’ and the victory over anti-Christian Western globalist project is sacred. Only a few Nazis and their liberal friends in Vatican and Moscow stand against the sacred Union of Great and White Rus’. The Vatican actively assists Belarusian Nazis. The Belarusian Catholic Church considers heroes the terrorists Kasciushka and Kalinowski. It wants to repeat Ukrainian Maidan in Minsk. Tadevush Kondrasevich, the Belarusian Roman Catholic Archbishop, is also an expert in the creation of “fifth column” in the Russian Orthodox Church. In the meantime Orthodox majority prays for Vladimir Putin and Alyaksandr Lukashenka and for the resolution of Belarus-Russia integration issues by 20 December.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory is aimed to discredit the Belarusian Roman Catholic Church, Belarusian national heroes, and the part of Belarusian society opposing deeper integration with Russia. The disinformation message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Belarusian national heroes as terrorists, about decaying, immoral West, and West's attempts to organize Ukraine-like scenario in Belarus. The accusation of Nazism/fascism, a recurring disinformation techniques of the pro-Kremlin outlets, has been lately increasingly used in relation to Belarus. It also promotes the concept of all-Russian people, an imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology that is a favored pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at weakening the national identity of Belarusians and Ukrainians, as well as their sovereignty. Ukraine and Belarus are well-defined nation-states with a long history; both nations preserved language, literature and identity, despite foreign rule for long periods. On 7 December 2019, the day of a meeting between Belarusian and Russian presidents in Sochi, over 1,000 demonstrators rallied in Minsk to protest closer integration with Russia. Concerns in the Belarusian society are growing over the secrecy around the two countries' negotiations over deepened integration. In the past pro-Kremlin media outlet accused Tadevush Kondrasevich, the Belarusian Roman Catholic Archbishop, in anti-Soviet and Russophobic worldview. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the West is destabilizing Belarus with the help of Nazis and LGBT, that pro-Western Belarusian opposition prefers commemorating WWII events with swastikas and LGBT symbols, that Warsaw is preparing Euromaidan scenario for Belarus, the Union State of Belarus and Russia saves post-Soviet countries from pro-fascist West, and that western Europe is abandoning Christian roots.

Second Srebrenica to happen in Donbas if Ukraine receives control over the border

In case Ukraine takes control over the border, the massacre [like the one] in Srebrenica might be repeated. I will just remind those who forgot: this is the bloodiest episode of the collapse of Yugoslavia; 8,000 dead in a few days in July [1995].

Disproof

The claim is unfounded and in line with the pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on the situation in Ukraine and the war in Donbas. The original claim was made on 9 December by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, who warned that if Kyiv is granted control over the border with Russia in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas, there would be a second Srebrenica. Ukraine has been accused several times of committing genocide against ethnic Russians in Ukraine. Human rights missions that traveled to Ukraine in 2014 did not find evidence that the Russian minority would have been in danger. See, for instance, the Advisory Committee’s Ad hoc report on the situation of national minorities in Ukraine, adopted on 1 April 2014 by the Council of Europe; June 2014 report on the human rights situation in Ukraine by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; and the statement by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities on her visit to Ukraine, published on 4 April 2014. On the latter negotiations in the Normandy Format, Ukraine insisted that the political part of the Minsk agreements, such as elections, will be implemented only after Ukraine receives full control over the 450-km long border with Russia in Donbas. See similar narratives alleging that Russia prevented genocide in Donbas and that Russia will not stay on the sidelines if Ukraine starts carrying out a genocide against its own, Ukrainian, population in Donbas.