Disinfo: The Eastern Partnership Policy was set up against Russia

Summary

The basic problem with the Eastern Partnership is that it was set up to create an EU zone of influence against Russia in its Eastern neighbourhood. […] As long as Russia is regarded and treated as an enemy, or even an adversary, this policy is inevitably directed against the largest European country and forces Moscow to take appropriate defensive measures. If Europe wants security, it can only be achieved together with Russia.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative accusing the West, and in this case the EU, of encircling Russia.

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint policy initiative which aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union (EU), its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Read more about the Eastern Partnership and its priorities here. The Eastern Partnership initiative is not against any country; it is a mutually beneficial and constructive platform for countries in the region to build a closer relationship with the EU, if they choose to do so. The EU does not demand any of its partners to make a choice between the EU or any other country. The Eastern Partnership stands for good neighbourly relations and respects the individual aspirations and ambitions of each partner country. There was in fact a clear record of strong cooperation between the EU and Russia, dating back to 1994, when the two sides negotiated a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. Russia was identified as a strategic partner for the EU, and was the only country with which the EU held summits not once, but twice a year. A new EU-Russia agreement was being negotiated up until 2014, at which point talks were suspended due to Russia's involvement in the Ukraine conflict. Negotiations were also in train on visa facilitation. There was also cooperation between the EU and Russia on a number of foreign policy issues, some of which continue to this day. The EU and its Member States have maintained a clear policy of reaching out to Russian society and youth, mainly through the Erasmus+ student exchange programme and other people to people contacts. Read more on the most repeated myths about the Eastern Partnership initiative here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 152
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 27/05/2019
  • Outlet language(s) German
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Eastern Partnership, Anti-Russian, European Union, Encircling Russia
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Ukraine is under the external control of the US

Ukraine need to play along with the Americans. They must do everything the United States like because it is they who introduced external control, which Mr. Zelenskyy is not ready to fight.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the EU and US relations with Ukraine. Ukraine is a sovereign state. The relations between the US and Ukraine are bilateral relations between two independent countries. The USA recognised Ukraine as an independent state on 25th December 1991. U.S. policy is centred on realising and strengthening a stable, democratic, prosperous, and free Ukraine more closely integrated into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures.

"Big brothers" in Europe and beyond knocked down the Austrian Chancellor with a "Russian card"

It is dangerous to run for leadership positions in the EU. Those who dared to show ambition were sent to knock-out with a “Russian card”. Just before the European Elections Austrian Chancellor is facing a no-confidence vote because of the scandalous video involving the vice-chancellor. […] A scandalous video was not an accident, it was released simultaneously by two German newspapers, the source of the video is not disclosed, the face of a blond woman is blurred out. Strange coincidence – half a year ago Austria media reported that a large Russian spy network is allegedly working in Vienna. The source: German intelligence, who later said they received the information from the Brits. […] The Austrian government resigned, experts are installed instead of ministers, and Kurz was shown he made a wrong bet. Austria with Kurz was the odd one out: supported the Nord Stream II, hosted Russian politicians at the highest level, offered itself as a ground for talks between Europe and Russia, and did not oust Russian diplomats. Kurz obviously wanted to play a unique role in Europe, and that was unacceptable for big brothers – not only in Europe.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory, consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russophobia and deep state. There is no evidence of Strache-campaign being part of an international master-plan against Austria or its chancellor. Both German magazine Der Spiegel and newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung have been open about their investigation. According to the media outlets, they obtained the video footage in May 2019 and published it after verifying its authenticity. The media has not disclosed who provided the video in order to protect their sources. Pro-Kremlin media has spread multiple contradicting messages about the source of the video, without giving any evidence to back their claims.

Poroshenko instigated the provocation in Kerch Strait to extend his power

Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s ex-president and the author of the provocation in the Kerch Strait, used the conflict to impose martial law in the country and extend his powers.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine and Azov Sea. On November 25, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters. However, a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004 governs the use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov. The agreement states this stretch to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.