As many Estonians have moved to Western Europe, the country suffers a decline in workforce

Summary

Over the last few years, significant numbers of Estonian working-age people have moved to Western Europe to look for more lucrative jobs. As a result, the country is faced with a sharp decline in workforce.

Disproof

No evidence is given to support this claim. On the contrary, according to Statistics Estonia, this is not the case: "In 2018, Estonia’s net migration was positive for the fourth year in a row. 17,547 persons took up residence in Estonia and 10,476 persons left Estonia. (…) The number of working-age people (20–64 years old) increased by 6,270 persons as a result of migration."

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 168
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/10/2019
  • Language/target audience: Estonian
  • Country: Estonia
  • Keywords: migration, Economic difficulties
  • Outlet: Sputnik Estonia
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Europe catastrophically lacks gas

Europe catastrophically lacks gas. In addition to gas from the [Nord Stream 2] pipeline, it will be necessary to purchase more and more Russian liquefied gas. The launch of Nord Stream 2 will greatly increase the export of Russian gas to Europe.

Disproof

This case is part of the Kremlin's recurring disinformation campaign about the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Europe is not "catastrophically lacking gas" - on the contrary, there is enough natural gas supply that prices in Europe have been going down this year. This is because the continent has been flooded with liquefied natural gas (LNG) from a number of suppliers since fall 2018, including the United States. A mild winter in Asia has driven gas prices to a three-year-low level and caused LNG shipments to be redirected to Europe, pushing down the prices. As Polygraph explains, energy experts say LNG has allowed natural gas to become a global commodity that can easily move from one continent to another depending on demand, similar to the way oil is traded.

NATO forced Ukraine to adopt anti-Russian foreign policy

Ever since gaining independence in 1991, Ukraine has pursued a policy of keeping as much distance from Russia as possible, which is actually part of NATO’s expansion strategy.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives painting NATO as an aggressive, expansionist military bloc; casting Ukraine as an artificial and/or failing state, fatally dependent on Western sponsorship and unable to make its own strategic choices

NATO does not determine Ukrainian foreign policy, Ukraine does (Arts. 85, 92, 106, 116). As such, different Ukrainian presidents and governments have emphasised a variety of foreign-policy priorities and preferences.

The Rail Baltic project is frozen, it will be destroyed in a war

The construction of the Rail Baltic railway was postponed for another two years because the Baltics don’t have enough money. It seems like the Rail Baltic project has permanently “frozen”.

There is no point in building infrastructure to the “front line” because it would be destroyed in the first hours of a large scale war.

Disproof

Rail Baltic is currently undergoing a design phase. In March 2019, a contract was signed to design a section of the Rail Baltic railway in Estonia. This was the first design contract signed for the main line of Rail Baltica. In April 2019, a similar contract was signed for a section in Lithuania, and in July, a design works contract was signed in Latvia. By September 2019, design works and site investigations had started on 411 km of the railroad.

Pro-Kremlin media often use the narrative of a "great war that will destroy everything, so there is no point in doing anything". This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative based on groundless speculation. Sometimes it's used in combination with the narrative that "Russia is not a threat" (and dismissing the annexation of Crimea). Other times, the narrative that "Russia is not a threat" is paired with the narrative where Russia destroys its adversaries with a nuclear bomb.