Activists linked to the Atlantic Council think tank, an adjunct of NATO, have launched a coordinated smear campaign targeting Russia’s dispatch of humanitarian relief to pandemic-stricken Italy. The activists took to Twitter and falsely dismissed Russia’s aid as “80% useless,” citing a report in the La Stampa newspaper. The article relied on the testimony of an anonymous source, which means we will have to take the author’s word for it. Not surprisingly, the author himself is also linked to the Atlantic Council. What’s most interesting here the fact that so many of the people pushing the disinformation are connected to the pro-NATO pressure group. Not to mention the fact that they used almost the same form of words. Was this coordination, or coincidence?
There is no European answer to the Coronavirus in Italy. The only countries that helped Italy are Russia, China and Cuba, non-European countries. When the Italians called for help, other European countries made fun of them and criticised the way they managed the crisis. If ever the European Union lived before, now it is dead. When the crisis is over, the EU will be held accountable and the mistake of the European Union will be stopped because it has no reason to exist.
This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapse. One of the main pro-Kremlin narratives relating to the pandemic is that the EU is failing to cope with the COVID-19 crisis and, as a result, is disintegrating, together with the border-free Schengen area. In particular, this narrative of failure and lack of EU solidarity is trending after the delivery of Russian aid to Italy. This narrative also aims to pit EU member states against each other in an attempt to undermine European solidarity, another recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation tactic. There is no evidence to support the claim that the pandemic is resulting in the death or obsolescence of the EU. The European Commission is coordinating a common European response to the COVID-19 crisis and is supporting Member States in tackling the pandemic and in mitigating its economic consequences. To cushion the blow to people’s livelihoods and the economy, the European Commission has adopted a comprehensive economic response to the outbreak, applied the full flexibility of the EU's fiscal rules, has revised its State Aid rules and proposed to set up a EUR 37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector. The Commission is further increasing its response by proposing to set up a €100 billion solidarity instrument to help workers keep their incomes and businesses stay afloat, called SURE. It is also proposing to redirect all available structural funds to the response to the coronavirus. To support scientific research into COVID-19, the European Commission earmarked 47,5 million EUR for shortlisted research projects that can improve epidemiology and public health, including preparedness and response to outbreaks. The EU also created the first ever stockpile of medical equipment. EU Member States are helping each other in this crisis; for example, German hospitals have offered to treat critical coronavirus patients from France as well as taking in patients from Italy and the Czech Republic has sent masks to Italy. Read more on EU repsonse to the COVID-19 outbreak here and here. Read similar cases claiming that the EU has collapsed as a result of the pandemic that the coronavirus epidemic marks the beginning of an era of crisis for pan-European identity and solidarity and that the COVID outbreak means the end of Europe.