Disinfo: The Eastern Partnership’s aim is to tear the ex-Soviet countries away from Russia

Summary

The programmes promoted by the European Union, called the Eastern Partnership, for the European countries of the former Soviet Union and Transcaucasia as well as individual activities carried out by the United States in the post-Soviet space, are all aimed at keeping these countries apart from the Russian Federation.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative alleging that the Eastern Partnership and the West are separating Russia from its neighbours.

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.

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.

See similar disinformation cases that the aim of the Eastern Partnership is to separate Russia’s from its neighbours and  Eastern Partnership and the Three Seas Initiative are anti-Russian.

Read more on the most repeated myths about the Eastern Partnership initiative here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 209
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: EU, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia
  • Keywords: Eastern Partnership, Encircling Russia, USSR, Anti-Russian, Europe

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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Belarusians want to have the Western “right” to be unemployed and homeless instead of having free education and social security

As the last country in Europe, the Belarusians want to taste the liberal capitalism hoping that they will not face the fate of the Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Latvians or the Poles, who have moved to the West trying to make money for a living working at various “low-level” jobs.

The Belarusians are tired of President Lukashenka, so they have a right to taste the West, have a right to be unemployed or homeless. They do not want to pay symbolic costs for municipal services, cheap and qualitative medication, free education and social security. It is a freedom of choice.

Disproof

This message distorts the presentation of the socio-economic situation in Belarus and the EU – Belarus is presented as a highly developed Communist-style welfare state, while EU countries face challenges such as unemployment and homelessness. The statements that Belarusians “pay symbolic costs for municipal services”, “have cheap medicine”, “free education” and “social security” do not have anything in common with the real socio-economic situation in the country.

One of the main reasons for the current protests in Belarus is the dramatic reduction of the level of life of the population, which has been taking place during recent years. At the present moment, Belarus is one of the poorest countries in Europe – it has a lower GDP per capita than any EU member state. Other socio-economic indicators also prove that Belarus has a substantially lower level of life than any other EU member state – life expectancy (74 – one of the lowest in Europe), minimal salary – 124 EUR (lowest in Europe), unemployment benefit – from 9 to 18 euros per month (a “symbolic” payment); average salary – 440 EUR.

Poland uses the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw in order to trigger anti-Russian sentiments for further militarisation of this country

The current Polish authorities love historical anniversaries – Mike Pompeo arrived in Warsaw on August 15, which was the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw. It is clear that there was a plan to use the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw in order to underline the alleged Russian threat. However, none of the current events or statements of the Russian politicians confirms this “threat”. The Polish authorities use the politicised narrative of the year of 1920 to trigger the feeling of a threat from the East. This step is necessary in order to reach a very concrete goal: further militarisation of Poland and the increase of the number of US troops deployed in this country.

Disproof

This message is a part of the Kremlin's widespread narrative about Russophobia  and militarization of Poland. The Kremlin-controlled media regularly accuses the political elites of Poland of Russophobia and the implementation of anti-Russian policies. Within this narrative, the "Russophobic" policies of Poland are often explained by the claim that the United States fully controls the domestic and foreign policy of this country (presenting Poland as an American "puppet-state" or a "banana republic").

The main current Russia-related concerns of Poland are a result of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia's armed military aggression in Ukraine. The Polish government shows its full support to solving the Russia-Ukraine conflict and complete restoration of territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Poland wishes to annex Lithuanian territory

Poland has old territorial claims against Lithuania. In 1922-1939, a significant part of the territory of modern Lithuania, including its capital Vilnius, was part of Poland. And Poland still has the idea of regaining it. Polish authorities has been creating such conditions, under which Lithuania will depend on Poland politically and even military. The last step in this process could be the merging Lithuanian territories under the pretext of uniting efforts against Russia. At least Warsaw can at any moment intensify such discussions which will lead to the joining of a part of Lithuanian territory to Poland.

[…]

Lithuania should be on the alert while completely trusting Poland. Following the citizens leaving for work in Poland, Lithuania may lose also part of its territories.

Disproof

Disinformation about relations between Poland and Lithuania. The countries are neighbours, close partners and NATO allies.

Lithuania and Poland have a long and shared history The 1994 Polish-Lithuanian Friendship Treaty lays down the principle of sovereignty and territorial integrity as a foundation of bilateral ties, and affirms that the two countries "do not have territorial claims against one another, nor will they issue any such claims in the future" (Art. 2(2)).