Disinfo: The EU adopted another package of illegitimate sanctions against Russia

Summary

As a part of the sanction aggression unleashed against Russia, the EU Council adopted another "package" of illegitimate unilateral restrictive measures against our country.

The EU leaders are not able to get out of the vicious circle of restrictions and recognise the futility of all anti-Russian sanctions and the policy of pressure on Russia. The current "package" will have the same effect as all the previous ones - exacerbation of socio-economic problems in the European Union itself. Due to the ill-conceived steps of Brussels, EU citizens have already faced energy shortages and unprecedented “sanctions inflation”, and a real threat of de-industrialisation looms over the EU economy.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation about Western sanctions on Russia, framing them as illegal.

This narrative fits well into the Kremlin's claims that the West is collapsing. The Kremlin seeks to pressure and blackmail the European governments and create public panic over energy insecurity / energy costs.

The EU adopted so far nine sanction packages against Russia due to its illegal aggression and occupation of Ukrainian territories. More about the last ninth package read here.

The EU has imposed unprecedented sanctions against Russia in response to the unprovoked and unjustified full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and the illegal annexation of Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. Furthermore, in December 2022, EU countries agreed to set a price cap on Russian oil at $60 per barrel. The price cap applies to oils which originate in or are exported from Russia. The cap comes on top of the EU import ban on Russian seaborne crude oil and petroleum products, and the corresponding bans of other G7 partners.

Sanctions are a key tool of EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy.

The EU sanctions are legitimate restrictions imposed in accordance with international and European law as a response to violations of international legalities, such as Russia’s actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. The EU established the sanctions regime under its laws, specifically Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014, "concerning restrictive measures in view of Russia's actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine."

The EU has the right to impose economic sanctions within the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter. Crucially, any such measures must strictly conform to European and international law. Other international actors have the right to impose them under international law as well under certain conditions.

Through restrictive measures, the EU intervenes where appropriate to respond to emerging or current crises. EU sanctions are carefully targeted and designed to be proportionate to the objectives they seek to achieve. Moscow has falsely claimed that the EU sanctions are illegal ever since their imposition in 2014, following Russia's invasion, annexation, and ongoing occupation of Crimea.

The Autumn 2022 Eurobarometer survey shows that three quarters of EU citizens approve the EU’s overall support to Ukraine as well as the specific measures including sanctions against Russia. Democracy, human rights and free speech are paramount to EU citizens as they call on the European Parliament to defend these values on which the EU is founded. The publication of the full results of this survey is foreseen for January 2023.

Read here about the EU and the US sanctions explained.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 322
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/12/2022
  • Article language(s) Armenian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, EU
  • Keywords: Sanctions, War in Ukraine, Invasion of Ukraine, Maria Zakharova, Anti-Russian
see more

Disinfo: The war in Ukraine is part of a Western anti-China plan

The West spent almost 10 years preparing Ukraine for confrontation with Russia and thereby targeting China. Ukraine is an anti-Russia Western tool, thanks to which Russia was supposed to be taken under control and turned into an anti-China tool. An attack against Russia by Ukraine was a part of the plan to spark Russia-China war. Russia has undermined such western plans.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. The claim paints Ukraine as a Western puppet thus undermining Ukraine's statehood and sovereignty. This claim aims to justify Russia war of aggression with groundless conspiracy about orchestrated Russia-China confrontation.

The US, the EU and some NATO member states provide Ukraine with military assistance to repel the unprovoked Russian aggression. Ukraine receives weapons with the sole aim of restoring its territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.

Disinfo: Moldovan authorities use disinformation excuse to exclude Russian voices from social and political life

Since last March there has been a ban on Russian news programmes, and Russian TV channels are constantly being fined "under the pretext of fighting misinformation and biased coverage of the special military operation (in Ukraine), and publishing unverified information that would harm the country's national security."

When the Moldovan authorities pursue deliberate policies aimed at reducing the use of the Russian language and excluding it from social and political life, there can be no talk of respect and concern for the Russian-speaking population.

Disproof

This claim is in line with a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative alleging that Russophobia and anti-Russian attitudes are rampant in countries of the former Soviet Union; especially in cases where those countries receive Western support.

On 16 December 2022, Moldova temporarily banned six television channels for airing disinformation about the country and Russia's war in Ukraine. In fact, some of the channels are broadcast in Moldovan dispelling claims that this a language issue, or targets the Russian-speaking population of Moldova.

Disinfo: EU sanctions are against the freedom of choice of the Russian people

When imposing sanctions against Russian parties, European officials imposed sanctions against the choice of the Russian people. This is because the political forces represented in the State Duma directly express the interests of Russian citizens.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation claim on sanctions, this time implying that the Russian political system is a democracy in which members of the State Duma are true representatives of the Russia people. The claim was neither counterbalanced nor critically challenged in the article.

The level of democratic freedoms in Russia has been steadily declining since the 1990s. In 2005, Freedom House changed Russia's classification from "partly free" to "not free," due to "the virtual elimination of influential political opposition parties within the country and the further concentration of executive power" (p. 519). By 2021, according to the watchdog's criteria, Russia had scored only 5 points out of 40 in the "Political Rights" section, including 0 points out of 12 in the "Electoral Process" sub-section and 3 out of 12 in the "Political Pluralism and Participation" sub-section.