Europe declares war against Russian media

 Europe declares war against Russian media

The EU Parliament adopted a draft resolution proposed by EU lawmaker from Poland Anna Elzbieta Fotyga on the EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against the bloc by third parties, which says that Russia is allegedly engaged in propaganda against the European Union. 

A total of 691 lawmakers participated in the vote: 304 voted in favor of the resolution, 179 against it and 208 abstained from voting. 

Authors of the document equate counteracting Russia with the resistance to the ISIS terrorist group and call on EU member states to boost financing counter-propaganda projects.

The Sputnik news agency, the RT channel, the Russkiy Mir foundation and the Russian Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Cultural Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) are named as main information threats to the European Union. 

The non-binding draft document says that Russia is allegedly "aggressively employing a wide range of tools and instruments" to weaken the European Union. The draft resolution claims that Russia is allegedly providing opposition political parties and organization in the EU member states with financial support, using bilateral interstate relations to divide the bloc. 

In order to counteract the so-called Russian propaganda, the document calls on the EU members states to cooperate with NATO to develop mechanisms of coordinated strategic communications and countering hybrid threats.

However, not all lawmakers endorsed the document, including Spanish lawmaker Javier Couso from the United Left party. He believes that it is unacceptable to equate alleged threats from Russia to those posed by ISIS terrorists.

A political analyst, Candidate of Historical Sciences Oleg Kuznetsov, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, said that the European Parliament's resolution is not a novelty in international politics: similar methods were used for at least another century and a half ago.

However, there are some differences from previous experience in the current situation. "Before, no state or international body does not react to the state propaganda in other countries so openly and through the adoption of any political resolutions. In this sense, of course, the resolution of the European Parliament is a new step, opening another round of confrontation between Europe and Russia. In this the sense of the resolution of the European Parliament may cause the blocking of Russian media in European countries," Oleg Kuznetsov said.

The analyst recalled that the UK has recently blocked the accounts of the Russia Today news agency, although later they were unblocked. "Now, based on the European Parliament resolution, the national governments, for example, may block the broadcasts or deny licenses," the political consultant warned.

According to Kuznetsov, all this shows the unwillingness of Europe to accept any alternative point of view in its information space. "This means that European politicians, concerns and special services have something to hide," he said.

Therefore, the current state of affairs is an indirect recognition of Russia's victory in the information confrontation with Europe, the expert said.

"However, this quite understandable step will not help the EU. Russia and its allies can take similar measures. But most importantly, the dissemination of information is always possible through alternative means. It will be enough to create some site on the resource outside the EU, which will be visited under the already well-known brand by millions of readers," the analyst said.