Disinfo: The EU Association Agreement made Ukraine a colony of the European Union

Summary

The Europeans are happy to accept cheap labour from Ukraine and to carefully monitor that Ukraine respects its obligations to remain a colonial appendage of the EU, which, in addition to human resources, also requires raw materials needed by Western producers.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine, which is often claimed to be under external control from the US, NATO, the EU, or IMF. Ukraine is a sovereign state. The EU does not control Ukraine. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by most of the free world, confirmed by the resolutions of the United Nations, but violated by Russia. Ukraine is a priority partner for the EU. In June 2014, the EU and Ukraine signed an Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which promotes deeper political ties, stronger economic links and the respect for common values. Since 2014, the EU and the Financial Institutions have mobilised more than €15 billion in grants and loans to support the reform process, with strong conditionality on continued progress. See here for more details about EU-Ukraine relations. Since 2016, there has been a steady increase in the export of more value added products, such as machinery and appliances and transport equipment, while the number of companies exporting to the EU has increased from 11,700 companies in 2015 to more than 14,500 companies in 2019. The total trade turnover increased to 52.6 bln USD in 2019. During 2015-2019, Ukraine also increased its exports to the EU from 13 bln USD to 24 bln USD. Overall in 2019, Ukrainian exports to the EU increased by 3.9%. Now, the EU accounts for almost half of Ukrainian exports. The EU remains a key trading partner of Ukraine with a share of 40.1%. See here for more details about EU-Ukraine trade relations. See similar claims alleging that the EU Association Agreement destroyed the Ukrainian economy and that Ukraine and its economy became a Western colony.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 205
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/07/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Abandoned Ukraine, Ukrainian statehood
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Lithuanian opposition to the Belarusian NPP seeks to obtain benefits from regional militarisation

Lithuania’s criticism of the Belarusian nuclear power is an attempt to demonstrate its anti-Russian and anti-Belarusian positions and to obtain benefits associated with regional militarisation. This is a provocation aimed to push Germany in that direction, despite its pragmatic relations with Russia. However, the Lithuanian authorities overestimated its bet on Washington and the impact of its agents in the EU.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobic Baltic states. Lithuania opposes the construction of the Astravets Nuclear power Plant (NPP) as the project does not comply with the international standards of environmental protection and nuclear safety, and is built on a site that was not duly justified over the alternative ones. On 7 June 2011, Lithuania lodged a complaint with the Implementing Committee of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (the Espoo Convention) on the Astravets nuclear power plant case. The February 2019 draft decision of the Meeting of the Parties of the Espoo Convention acknowledged that Belarus had failed to comply with some Convention provisions and encouraged Belarus and Lithuania to continue bilateral expert consultations. On 5 May 2020, the Lithuanian parliament passed a resolution tasking the government to take even more active steps to ensure that electricity generated by Astravets NPP has no access to the Lithuanian market.

Earlier pro-Kremlin outlets published many other speculations alleging that Lithuania fights against the Belarusian NPP on the orders of Sweden and Finland or because it has been offended by the EU, that Lithuania's counteractions to the NPP are an attempt to disrupt Belarus-Russia cooperation, and that Lithuanian authorities criticise the Belarusian NPP to divert public attention from the catastrophic state of economy.

The EU did not give any attention and support to Italy, where people were dying without any help

The EU did not support Italy. There was simply a terrible situation in the north of the county, people were dying without getting any help. Here we see the noble acts of the President of Russia, who sent military doctors, virologists, a huge amount of medical equipment, ventilation machines. The global epidemic displayed the need for international cooperation, and Russia provided the worst struggling countries with humanitarian aid.

Disproof

Speculative claim about "abandoned Italy" and that the EU left Italy to fight coronavirus alone. This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West's crumbling solidarity. While Russia did sent a military team to Italy, there are numerous examples of solidarity in the Western world, including among the EU and individual Member States as follows. The European Commission has approved a €50 million Italian aid scheme to support the production and supply of medical devices, as well as to help Italy provide the necessary medical treatment to those infected. On March 18th, the European Union also received a Chinese aid package, including masks and 50,000 testing kits that were fully allocated to Italy, as Rome faced the most urgent needs among member states in the coronavirus crisis. On March 13th, the European Union proposed a Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, envisaging EUR 835 million for Italy. On March 26th, the European Parliament unanimously approved the initiative. Furthermore, the European Central Bank announced a 750 billion euro ($820 billion) asset purchase programme in an effort to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, as the death toll in Europe continues to rise. As part of the programme, investors will purchase Italian securities to help the country counter the serious risks of the coronavirus. Since the hospitals are overcrowded in Italy, Germany has started to accept coronavirus patients from this harder-hit country.The report on the comprehensive economic policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here. Read more about the EU's response here and here. Read further debunking on Myth Detector. Read similar cases claiming that the the EU is dead because it abandoned Italy, and only Russia, China and Cuba gave a helping hand, and that Italy is alone face to face with an invisible and terrible enemy.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine acknowledged that Ukraine has lost Crimeans forever

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine acknowledged that Ukraine has lost the Crimeans forever. Ukraine needs to fight not for the Crimean population, but for the territory itself because the people receive Russian information and do not have access to Ukrainian propaganda. This was stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba in the interview with “Krym.Realii”.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the annexation of Crimea. There was never a statement from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba in the interview with “Krym.Realii” that Ukraine has "lost" the inhabitants of Crimea. He also did not say that "there is no need for Kyiv to fight for the population of the peninsula." According to Kuleba, it is difficult for Kyiv to fight for human consciousness in Crimea because the authorities do not have physical access there.