The appalling March 22 terrorist attacks in Brussels attracted a lot of attention in pro-Kremlin media outlets. Sadly, most chose to spread confusion, fear and mistrust via disinformation stories about the tragic events, reads the DisinfoReview by EEAS East StratCom Task Force.
“A repeated accusation was that the bombing was Angela Merkel’s fault: because she invited refugees to Europe (although the attackers were not refugees); or because she held talks with President Erdogan, who supposedly founded Daesh. Many European outlets also multiplied disinformation, originating in Russia, that Chancellor Merkel had previously taken a selfie with one of the attackers,” according to the report. Continue reading
As the United States had gotten paid for Europe’s World War II recovery, making it the powerhouse it is today, Germany, too, learned from history and sees the priceless value in this and seeks to capitalize from it.
Germany is working on a ‘Marshall Plan’ for Ukraine, Karl-Georg Wellmann, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and head of the German-Ukrainian parliamentary group, said in an interview with the newspaper Segodnya.
“We have been working on a new strategy for Ukraine’s stabilization and development with much greater financial and political efforts. This is something new, and it will supplement the Association Agreement,” he said.
MOSCOW — Ukraine is leaving Russia for Europe. That’s what many observers see as the likely consequence of the Association Agreement that Ukraine and the European Union are expected to sign at a summit meeting in Vilnius at the end of this month. But those who expect Ukraine to embark on a fast transformation should not be complacent. Bitter disputes persist within the Ukraine-E.U.-Russia triangle, complicated conflicts that are about selfish interests, not universal values.
Vladimir Putin may say that opening borders to European goods and services under the Association Agreement’s free-trade pact is Ukraine’s sovereign choice. But Russia’s president is a master at dissembling: He is widely believed to have promised his Ukrainian counterpart, Viktor Yanukovich, to inflict a lot of pain if the Association Agreement is signed. Continue reading
As the Vilnius summit of EU’s Eastern Partnership draws nearer, at which several former Soviet states are expected to sign association agreements with the EU, Russia appears to have stepped up efforts to pull those same former Soviet states closer and into its own Customs Union, with mixed results.
On the surface, it appears to be a simple choice between which free trade agreement would offer those countries a better economic incentive – but where the EU can wield the carrot of foreign aid, Russia leans on the stick of threatening to withhold energy resources (and, unlike the EU, could not care less about asking for lasting reforms).
In the long run, Russian president Vladimir Putin sees the Customs Union as the building block of the Eurasian Economic Union – outlining its key institutions in an article he penned for Russia’s newspaper of record, Izvestia, in October 2011. Continue reading