Disinfo: The Russophobic Baltics have no chance to overcome cessation of EU funding

Summary

The Russophobic regime of the Baltic countries is implementing policy that deprives them from opportunities to profit from trade relations with Russia. This leaves them without a chance to overcome the consequences of the cessation of funding from the EU, which ends in 2020 and overcoming the demographic catastrophe due to the use of Russian resources. The demographic catastrophe means that from these countries the population is scattered across Ireland, England and other parts of Europe to work as hairdressers and carers.

Disproof

The pro-Kremlin media uses the Russophobia claim systematically on the Baltic states, but also on Belarus, and Ukraine. Sanctions were introduced after Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and the downing of the Malaysian passenger plane MH17. The latest decision on a six-month extension of EU sanctions against Russian was taken on the 12th of September 2019, lasting until March 2020. Estonia's policies towards Russia are not limited to sanctions. The Estonian President, Kersti Kaljulaid, met Vladimir Putin in Russia in April 2019 and has invited him to visit Estonia. The EU budget for 2021-2027 is still in the negotiation phase, but the European Comission has indeed proposed a 24% cut for cohesion policy for Hungary, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Lithuania. However, when all the funds foreseen by the proposal are combined, the reduction for Estonia would be from 3,5 billion euros to 3,3 billion euros. As "individual Member State’s allocation cannot be less than 76 % of what it received in the 2014-2020 period," there will be no "cessation" of the EU funds. The demographic catastrophe narrative is aimed to ridicule the Baltic states by exacerbating the demographic decline that they face. In fact, many other eastern European countries experience a population decline, including Russia. See cases alleging that the Baltic states are dying because they chose not to be with Russia, the Baltics will be inhabited by people from Africa, and that Lithuania will be depopulated in 20 years, and that decaying Latvia and Lithuania envy Belarus its strategic relations with Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 171
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/10/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Latvia
  • Keywords: Baltic states
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Al Baghdadi might have been a US agent

Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was in the Camp Bucca detention center inside a US base in Iraq for about five years “under the auspices of the United States.” As he was leaving the detention centre, Al-Bahdadid said “see you in New York guys”. This implies that he knew many US officers and soldiers in the detention centre hailed from New York City. There are many question marks about how a terrorist organisation would give allegiance to a leader who had just come out of a US base after five years in detention, and earlier why he had been released without trial, or even not sent to Guantanamo like other terrorists.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory perpetuating a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that the US has created and is supporting terrorist organisations.

Details of the operation to eliminate Al Baghdadi have been confirmed by the Pentagon, the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Iraqi intelligence. Parts of the footage filmed by US troops involved on it has been released, as announced by US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and president Donald Trump.

Ukraine is doing everything to disrupt the transit of gas for the benefit of the US

Naftogaz is doing everything to disrupt the talks and to put an end to a new contract. This strange behaviour forces Russian analysts to suppose that the Ukrainian company is acting against the national interests because of direct instructions from Washington. The latter does not want a competitive European gas market and, therefore, does not need a Ukrainian gas transmission system.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative blaming Ukraine for the disruption of the gas talks between Russia and Ukraine and plans to cut gas transit from Russia to the EU. Mixed in there is another often encountered pro-Kremlin disinformation claim blaming the US for trying to monopolise the EU gas market. Ukraine has made it clear that it is interested in and ready to continue the transit of gas from Russia to the EU. On 19 September 2019, during the third round of trilateral gas talks between the EU, Ukraine, and Russia, the Ukrainian delegation confirmed its willingness to sign a new contract for the duration of 10 years under the EU law. Ukraine’s Naftogaz handed over a draft interconnection agreement and a draft standard transmission agreement to Gazprom. Naftogaz reaffirmed its willingness to sign a new contract during the fourth round of negotiations held in Brussels on 28 October. The claim that the U.S. is planning to monopolise the European gas market is an exaggeration. According to Eurostat, Russia was, and remains, the largest supplier of natural gas and petroleum to the EU. Moreover, it has increased its share over the past few years. Whereas in 2017 Russia accounted for 39.3% of all gas imports, in 2018 its share increased to 40.2%. The other large suppliers of natural gas are Norway (35% in 2018), Algeria (11.3%), Qatar (5.8%), and other suppliers – 7.7%. It is the same situation with petroleum where Russia's share is 27.3%; Norway is in second place with 11.2%. As of 2018-2019, the U.S. is only the third biggest supplier of LNG to Europe with a share of 12.6% of all EU LNG imports. For the U.S., EU is also not the biggest purchaser, since it accounts only for 10% of all U.S. LNG exports. Overall, from August 2018 until April 2019, the EU bought in from the U.S. 10.4 billion cubic metres of gas. To compare, in 2018 Russia’s gas exports to the EU reached 202 bcm which set a record.

The West dreams of tearing Belarus apart from Russia and to organise a Ukraine-like scenario

All talk about Belarus’ peaceful mission in Europe or about European Belarus are good chances for the West to tear Belarus apart from Russia and to wage a geopolitical war against Russia from Belarusian territory. The US and EU dream about an anti-Russian scenario in Belarus, similar to the one organised in Ukraine in 2014.

Disproof

This message is a conspiracy which is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about West-staged colour revolution in Ukraine and plans to do so in Belarus, about Western aggressiveness towards Belarus and Russia, and Western attempts to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations. The EU has never staged, nor does it intend to stage, a colour revolution in Belarus or any other country. Nothing in the bilateral paths of cooperation suggests that the EU's goal is to make Belarus an anti-Russian country as alleged. Read more about the relations between the EU and Belarus here. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the US and NATO see Belarus only as part of an anti-Russia bastion, the West's only interest in Belarus is to make it anti-Russian, that the EU plans to take over Russia and to ruin Belarus just as it did to Ukraine, and that the West aims at cultivating anti-Russian sentiments in Belarus.