Disinfo: Unlike the EU, Russia provided Italy with concrete help

Summary

Unlike the EU, Russia provided Italy with concrete help. The Russian assistance to Italy is a perfect example of solidarity. Meanwhile, the European Parliament decided that there is an increasing number of people with depression living in Europe, so it declared May 27th as the European Day of Optimism (so far, it is a proposition from MEPs). The EU does not offer [to Italy] any specific solutions, while the Russian help to Italy, and its citizens, is concrete.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign around the Coronavirus epidemic. It promotes a narrative of the EU's failing efforts in its fight with the epidemic as opposed to the successful Russian ones.

Evidence is emerging that there are significant shortcomings with the aid sent by Russia, with one report estimating that up to 80% of this aid is ineffective. The Russian aid delivered to Italy is mainly composed of various equipment for disinfecting the streets. This type of equipment is not urgently required in Italy and has been described as a Russian “geopolitical and diplomatic charm offensive”.

The EU and its member states have provided humanitarian and financial assistance to Italy as follows:

• Establishment of two packages of financial support for countries affected by the coronavirus outbreak (about 37 billion EUR);
• 50 million EUR approved by the European Commission to support Italian production and supply of medical equipment; approval of the Italian State guarantee supporting a debt moratorium from banks to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
• The German hospitals continue receiving Italian patients with the Coronavirus

See other disinformation messages connected to the Coronavirus epidemics such as Coronavirus will cause the dissolution of the EU and NATO, Pentagon-funded biological laboratories involved in creation of Coronavirus, The Baltic states may not survive the coronavirus-related economic crisis and Germany called for lifting sanctions against Russia because of Coronavirus.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 190
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Polish
  • Country: EU, Italy, Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, humanitarian aid, EU disintegration, Diplomacy with Russia, Economic difficulties
  • Outlet: Sputnik Polska
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Poland refused to allow the Russian planes delivering aid to Italy to cross its air space

Poland did not let the Russian planes delivering aid to Italy cross its air space. This is meanness realised on the level of state policy. Moreover, this aid was delivered to a Polish ally of the EU and NATO. From now on, Russia should not assist Poland with anything.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign around the Coronavirus epidemic. It promotes a narrative of the EU's failing efforts in the fight with the epidemic and the successful Russian steps against the spread of the Coronavirus.

The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a statement regarding the alleged refusal of Poland to allow Russian transport planes delivering aid to Italy to cross its airspace. Poland called these accusations absurd and fake – the Russian Ambassador to Warsaw, Sergey Andreyev, received an official protest of Poland about the spread of this fake news by a Russian Senator.

Coronavirus has buried the EU

Coronavirus has buried the European Union. Without waiting for the end of the pandemic, we can assume with no exaggeration: the idea of globalism died. This means that the very liberal, pseudo-democratic values that the gentlemen loved to talk about from the Brussels tribunes have already left the stage of modern geopolitics. The political and economic union of 28 countries in the current form will not be preserved. This is already clear.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative alleging the EU's incompetence and failure to act amid the coronavirus crisis, and suggesting that the EU will disintegrate as a result. It is in line with well-established pro-Kremlin disinformation efforts to undermine and delegitimise the EU.

The European Union is supporting the Member States in addressing the crisis and has adopted a series of measures to mitigate the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. To cushion the blow to people’s livelihoods and the economy, the European Commission has adopted a comprehensive economic response to the outbreak, applied the full flexibility of the EU fiscal rules, has revised its State Aid rules and proposed to set up a EUR 37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector. To support scientific research into COVID-19, the European Commission earmarked 47.5 million EUR for shortlisted research projects that can improve epidemiology and public health, including preparedness and response to outbreaks. The EU has also created the first-ever stockpile of medical equipment. 

Virologists working in Lombardy are from Cuba rather than NATO

This is the current reality in Italian Lombardy. Not NATO, but Cuban virologists work. From that very Cuba, which has long been an outcast for the entire Western world.

 

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about West's crumbling solidarity. While Cuba has sent a medical team to Italy, there are numerous examples of solidarity in the Western world, including among EU Member States.

The European Union is taking steps to cushion the blow of the pandemic to people’s livelihoods and the economy.  The European Commission has adopted a comprehensive economic response to the outbreak applied the full flexibility of the EU fiscal rules, has revised its State Aid rules and set up a EUR 37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector. Read more about the EU's response to the COVID-19 pandemic here.