Disinfo: The EU has pushed the relations with Russia to a dead-end and is now facing unfortunate consequences

Summary

Since 2014 the confrontation [between Europe and Russia] was constructed following the same scheme: the West accused Russia of terrible sins, and Russia, maintaining restraint was fending of provocations; then new sanctions were imposed as a “punishment”, prompting responsive measures. The US and the EU were in charge of the levers of confrontation using it against Russia, which simply reacted to the challenges. […]

When all past “Kremlin’s crimes” have exhausted their usefulness, Europe created a surprising history about the poisoning of a Russian blogger. However this time Russia responded robustly and became furious because of this European provocation. The new round of anti-Russian campaign suddenly brought unfortunate consequences for Europe.

It is obvious for everyone that the EU desperately needs two things from Russia: Nord Stream 2 and Sputnik V. The undemocratic regime turned out much more scientifically and technologically advanced then leading democracies.

Hence Brussels, Berlin, and other EU capitals are facing a serious dilemma. On the one hand, they are under pressure from the NATO allies to carry on the Russia destabilisation campaign through Russian anti-state opposition. On the other hand, the anti-Russian measures need to be calibrated to prevent the disruption of Nord Stream 2 construction and cooperation over Sputnik V. Europe got really tired from long-time subordination to the US and wishes to play an independent geopolitical role. However, apparently, the EU is not ready for a level playing field and now its future is at stake.

Disproof

Disinformation about EU-Russia relations, including recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Alexei Navalny, Russophobia, US presence in Europe, Sputnik V.

Such disinformation messages aim to deflect attention from Russia's violations of international law. The EU has imposed restrictive measures, including sectoral sanctions, as a result of illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia's destabilising actions in eastern Ukraine. Formats such as regular high-level dialogues and cooperation remain suspended in the absence of the full implementation of the Minsk agreements by Russia.

The EU’s approach to Russia is guided by five principles agreed in 2016 and reaffirmed, most recently, by EU Foreign Ministers in October 2020. Read more about the EU-Russia relations here.

The EU has strongly condemned the assassination attempt of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, and sanctioned 6 individuals and 1 entity involved in the assassination attempt using chemical weapons. There is unequivocal evidence that Navalny was poisoned using Novichok-type nerve agent. To obfuscate responsibility for the poisoning, the pro-Kremlin media has drawn numerous parallels between Navalny and Skripal poisonings.

The US does not control the EU. The EU Member States are sovereign countries and make sovereign decisions about their own security and policies. The US is an important ally to the EU but EU policy is not determined by the US. The decisions in the EU are made by the directly elected European Parliament, the European Commission together with the Council (the governments of the 27 EU countries).

European Union is not against Russian vaccine, nor it desperately needs it. For any medicament to be used in the EU, it must first be approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). According to EMA's latest statements it "has to date not received an application for a rolling review or a marketing authorisation for the [Sputnik V] vaccine".

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that poisoning of Navalny is a provocation to spoil relations between Russia and Germany, that European countries are under heavy US control, that NATO is a new type of US colonialism, and that Germany and the EU are subordinate to the US.

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  • Reported in: Issue 231
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/02/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Russian, Lithuanian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, Germany, US, Russia
  • Keywords: Sputnik V, Russian superiority, Anti-Russian, Alexei Navalny, Puppets, US presence in Europe, Conspiracy theory, NATO
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Involvement of Baltic states in MDO of the US army could cause real armed conflict

Small Baltic states could begin the big war. If the Baltic states will be involved in Multi-Domain Operation (MDO) warfare, it would increase the risk of war in the region.

The Baltic states are in Russia’s neighbourhood. Their territories could be used for intelligence purposes, electronic warfare and radiolocation.

The nature of MDO operations is offensive. The mistake in an offensive MDO operation (of the US forces in Europe) in the Baltics could cause real armed conflict.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative, challenging the US presence in Europe. Also presenting Baltic states as an outpost against Russia.

The conception of MDO is still developing. The US Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) describe it as follows:

European diplomats expelled from Russia deliberately violated Russian laws

The European diplomats expelled from Russia were well aware that they had violated Russian laws, since the actions in which they participated were uncoordinated.

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations contains a provision that “all persons enjoying privileges and immunities are obliged, without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, to respect the laws and regulations of the host country”. In Russia, back in March last year, all public and mass events were banned.

Foreign diplomats were well aware of this. Thus, the participation of employees of the Consulates General of Sweden and Poland and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in the actions held on January 23 and 31 is not only interference in the internal affairs of the Russian Federation, but also a deliberate, deliberate violation of the laws of the host state.

Disproof

A false claim on the activities of European diplomats. The three expelled diplomats did observe the manifestations, but the allegations that they took part in demonstrations are false. The European Union strongly condemned the decision to expel the European diplomats and rejected the allegations that they conducted activities incompatible with their status as foreign diplomats. According to the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations(opens in a new tab), their duties include "[a]scertaining by all lawful means conditions and developments in the receiving State, and reporting thereon to the Government of the sending State" (Article 3(d)). See a similar case here.