Disinfo: The US benefits from the attack on the Saudi oil facility

Summary

Regardless who was behind the recent attack on the Saudi oil infrastructure, the key question is “who would benefit from this new round of escalation?” Relatively high oil prices would contribute to the economic policy pursued by the Trump administration. At the same time, the industry of large oil consumers, like China and Germany, would bear additional costs because of the growth of energy prices. Therefore, the Trump administration would get additional odds in its economic war with China and protectionist policy against the EU industrial states. This ‘controlled escalation’ would allow Washington to consolidate existing and gain additional levers of pressure on global energy prices, including the influence on Saudi Arabia, and, therefore, manipulate the global energy market in own interests. A similar motivation stands behind the US geopolitical activity towards Venezuela.

Disproof

No evidence is provided to support the claim. A claim, consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US supporting terrorism. You can see other examples of this narrative here, here, here and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 166
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/09/2019
  • Outlet language(s) English
  • Country: Iran, Saudi Arabia, US
  • Keywords: Donald Trump, Conspiracy theory, Terrorism
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Anti-Semitism in Ukraine is on the rise

Of particular concern is the growing number of crimes motivated by anti-Semitism and other crimes directed against ethnic minorities. However, it is one thing when the state struggles to prevent this, and another when it indirectly encourages such crimes.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about antisemitism in Ukraine. The National Minorities Monitoring Group of Ukraine informs that there have been no acts of anti-Semitic violence in Ukraine and relatively small anti-Semitic vandalism in the last two years. The Group’s monitoring has found that “there is no antisemitic violence in Ukraine and that Ukrainian Jews are not confronted with direct physical danger.” "However, some anti-Semitic vandalism occurs, such as the desecration of graves, synagogues and memorials to victims of the Holocaust. In 2018, there were 12 such cases, which is half of the previous year". In general, the Group concludes that the number of vandalism cases has decreased over recent years. The official report of the Government of Israel published for 2018 confirms these conclusions. The report does not mention any examples of violence against Jews in Ukraine in 2018. It has also underlined the significant decrease in the number of acts of vandalism. The official report also states that some of the cases that were reported in the media 'might have been created artificially to damage the international image of Ukraine.' According to the Pew Research Centre, the level of anti-Semitism in Ukraine is one of the smallest among countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Further debunking by StopFake.

The resolution of the European Parliament relieves Germany from the responsibility of World War Two

The beneficiary of the resolution of the European Parliament, declaring the non-aggression pact between the USSR and Germany the cause of the World War Two, is first and foremost Germany. Germany is, with the help of others, getting relieved from the status of main culprit of the war. The responsibility for the deaths of 60 millions will now fall on others.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism – it tries to promote the idea that the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact did not cause the division of East and Central Europe between the USSR and Nazi Germany, leading to WWII. In a statement, the Press Office of the European Parliament elaborates on the resolution, mentioned in the claim:

MEPs voice concern at the efforts of the current Russian leadership to whitewash crimes committed by the Soviet totalitarian regime and see them as a “dangerous component of the information war waged against democratic Europe”. They also condemn extremist and xenophobic political forces and organisations in Europe for distorting historical facts, and employing the symbolism and rhetoric of totalitarian propaganda, including racism, anti-Semitism and hatred towards sexual and other minorities.

Full text of the resolution can be found here.

EU provided economic subsidies to Poland to act as a barrier against Russian aggression

Poland became the largest beneficiary of EU subsidies because it positioned itself as a barrier against Russian aggression. The logic was to promote the Western European way of life [to Russians] by increasing Polish living standards. Many EU politicians followed this logic and provided financial support for Poland.

Disproof

It is a conspiracy theory to claim that EU funds are based on Russia-focused political rationale. The "anti-Russian barrier" is not among the factors which are taken into account when it comes to EU funds. The long-term budget - the Multiannual Financial Framework - sets out the EU's long-term spending priorities and limits. The EU budget finances activities ranging from developing rural areas and conserving the environment to protecting external borders and promoting human rights. The Commission, the Council and Parliament all have a say in determining the size of the budget and how it is allocated. EU expenditure and national contributions to the EU budget for the 2014 -2020 financial programming period can be consulted here. In 2018 Poland received €16.34 billion in EU funding and contributed €3.98 billion to the EU budget. Among the EU funds from which Poland benefits the most are Cohesion Policy funds and Common Agricultural Policy funds and subsidies.