Disinfo: The West is arranging provocations towards Russia

Summary

An unpleasant tendency is observed: first a Russian diplomat is expelled by Norway, then Slovakia, now Austria, and all this over the past two weeks. Provocations and incitement to hostility towards Russia are played out according to an old scenario that has been rolled out by the West.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's alleged anti-Russian activities.

The Austrian authorities declared a Russian diplomat persona non grata and expelled him from the country, Deutsche Welle reported. The diplomat is suspected of industrial espionage. It is reported that the employee of the Russian embassy committed acts that violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

On 19 August, Norway expelled a Russian diplomat following revelations of a spy scandal and the week before, another NATO country, Slovakia expelled 3 Russian embassy staff over abuse of visas in a case which media linked to the murder in Berlin of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a Georgian citizen, and Chechen critic.

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 209
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Austria, Slovakia, Norway, Russia
  • Keywords: Diplomacy with Russia, West, Provocation, Anti-Russian, Russophobia, The West

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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The Eastern Partnership’s aim is to tear the ex-Soviet countries away from Russia

The programmes promoted by the European Union, called the Eastern Partnership, for the European countries of the former Soviet Union and Transcaucasia as well as individual activities carried out by the United States in the post-Soviet space, are all aimed at keeping these countries apart from the Russian Federation.

Disproof

The Eastern Partnership initiative is not against any country; it is a mutually beneficial and constructive platform for countries in the region to build a closer relationship with the EU if they choose to do so. The EU does not demand any of its partners to make a choice between the EU or any other country. The Eastern Partnership stands for good neighbourly relations and respects the individual aspirations and ambitions of each partner country.

See similar disinformation cases that the aim of the Eastern Partnership is to separate Russia’s from its neighbours and  Eastern Partnership and the Three Seas Initiative are anti-Russian.

Belarusians want to have the Western “right” to be unemployed and homeless instead of having free education and social security

As the last country in Europe, the Belarusians want to taste the liberal capitalism hoping that they will not face the fate of the Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Latvians or the Poles, who have moved to the West trying to make money for a living working at various “low-level” jobs.

The Belarusians are tired of President Lukashenka, so they have a right to taste the West, have a right to be unemployed or homeless. They do not want to pay symbolic costs for municipal services, cheap and qualitative medication, free education and social security. It is a freedom of choice.

Disproof

This message distorts the presentation of the socio-economic situation in Belarus and the EU – Belarus is presented as a highly developed Communist-style welfare state, while EU countries face challenges such as unemployment and homelessness. The statements that Belarusians “pay symbolic costs for municipal services”, “have cheap medicine”, “free education” and “social security” do not have anything in common with the real socio-economic situation in the country.

One of the main reasons for the current protests in Belarus is the dramatic reduction of the level of life of the population, which has been taking place during recent years. At the present moment, Belarus is one of the poorest countries in Europe – it has a lower GDP per capita than any EU member state. Other socio-economic indicators also prove that Belarus has a substantially lower level of life than any other EU member state – life expectancy (74 – one of the lowest in Europe), minimal salary – 124 EUR (lowest in Europe), unemployment benefit – from 9 to 18 euros per month (a “symbolic” payment); average salary – 440 EUR.

Poland uses the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw in order to trigger anti-Russian sentiments for further militarisation of this country

The current Polish authorities love historical anniversaries – Mike Pompeo arrived in Warsaw on August 15, which was the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw. It is clear that there was a plan to use the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw in order to underline the alleged Russian threat. However, none of the current events or statements of the Russian politicians confirms this “threat”. The Polish authorities use the politicised narrative of the year of 1920 to trigger the feeling of a threat from the East. This step is necessary in order to reach a very concrete goal: further militarisation of Poland and the increase of the number of US troops deployed in this country.

Disproof

This message is a part of the Kremlin's widespread narrative about Russophobia  and militarization of Poland. The Kremlin-controlled media regularly accuses the political elites of Poland of Russophobia and the implementation of anti-Russian policies. Within this narrative, the "Russophobic" policies of Poland are often explained by the claim that the United States fully controls the domestic and foreign policy of this country (presenting Poland as an American "puppet-state" or a "banana republic").

The main current Russia-related concerns of Poland are a result of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia's armed military aggression in Ukraine. The Polish government shows its full support to solving the Russia-Ukraine conflict and complete restoration of territorial integrity of Ukraine.