Disinfo: The EU's aim behind the Eastern Partnership programme is to change the political regimes in Belarus and Russia

Summary

The West attempts to destroy friendly relations between Belarus and Russia. Under the cover of humanitarian programmes aimed at promoting democracy, like the Eastern Partnership programme, the West aims to change the political regimes in Belarus and Russia and to rip Belarus off Russia.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory consistent with recurring disinformation narratives about Western attempts to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations, about the belligerent West attempting to encircle Russia and West's plans to stage colour revolutions in countries near to its borders including Belarus and Russia. The Eastern Partnership programme aims to reinforce the political association and economic integration of six Eastern European and South Caucasus partner countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. It is not directed against any country, including Belarus or Russia. Read more about the EaP's recent and ongoing activities. See earlier disinformation cases concerning the Eastern Partnership here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 150
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/05/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus, Russia
  • Keywords: West, Eastern Partnership, Anti-Russian, European Union, Colour revolutions, Conspiracy theory
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Bloomberg started information war against Russia and works against Belarus-Russia relations

Bloomberg wrote about Vladimir Putin’s insidious plot concerning Belarus and referred to an anonymous source close to the Kremlin. The anonymous source is a trick, as in reality it does not exist. Anything can be published based on references to the “sources close to the Kremlin”. Bloomberg does its best to turn Belarus and Russia against each other to prevent the establishment of the Union State between the two countries. Bloomberg will continue writing about political and economic disagreements between Belarus and Russia, and its future allegations will be based on the “sources close to the Kremlin”. It was indeed Bloomberg who started an information war against Russia, and it was Bloomberg who was at the head of all international conflicts.

Disproof

This message is conspiracy which is consistent with repetitive pro-Kremlin narratives about the West staging an anti-Russia information war, West's attempts to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations, and about Western media outlets as subservient to Western political elites. On 24 April 2019 Bloomberg published an article, titled Putin’s Term Limit Stirs Fears of a Takeover in Belarus. It says that Russia's recent slash of economic subsidies to Belarus fuels fears in Minsk that the Kremlin may look for Belarus' possible absorption. According to the article, three people close to the Kremlin said to Bloomberg that "Putin may lay plans to head a unified state with neighboring Belarus to sidestep a constitutional ban on remaining president after 2024." The use of unnamed sources does not violate journalist ethics under certain conditions. It is justified when information from source is important to the story, could not be obtained any other way and the source is credible, the International Journalists' Network explainer says. After an increase in tensions between Belarus and Russia in December 2018, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko himself publicly spoke about Moscow's interest to incorporate Belarus under the cover of 'deep integration'. Belarusian and Russian state-owned and state-controlled media regularly report about political and economic disagreements between the two countries. Episodic Bloomberg publications about Belarus-Russia relations do not stand out in this respect. See a similar recent disinformation case alleging that Russian company Rosneft is an object of defamatory campaign by Reuters and other western media.

Russia introduced passport control at the border with Belarus because of European fraud with export of food

EU businesses did multiple attempts to bypass Russian embargo and to sell their food products on the Russian market. This way Europeans framed the Belarusian government. These massive provocations by EU businesses resulted in a passport control on Belarus-Russia border that the Russian government had to introduce.

Disproof

This ungrounded claim is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about West's attempts to bring discord in Belarus-Russia relations.

In the last years Russia indeed restricted control at the border with Belarus. It established a security zone with random border controls along the border with Belarus and moved flights to Belarus from domestic to international terminals. Given that the signing of the Agreement on mutual recognition of visas between Belarus and Russia is delayed, the issue of transit through Belarus-Russian border for third country nationals remains unresolved.

Not a single air defence system of the Russian armed forces has ever crossed the Ukrainian border

Not a single air defence system of the Russian armed forces has ever crossed the Ukrainian-[Russian] border.

Disproof

One of the multiple pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the downing of the MH17 flight.

The JIT has been able to identify a large part of the route concerning the arrival and the departure of the BUK-TELAR. This was the result of intercepted telephone conversations, witness statements, photographs and videos that had been posted on social media, and a video never shown before which was obtained from a witness. The system was transported from Russian territory into eastern Ukraine and was later transported on a white Volvo truck with a low-boy trailer. The truck was escorted by several other vehicles and by armed men in uniform.