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EU leaders idle while Russia wages information war: report

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 02.03.2017 13:15
EU leaders remain idle in the face of an information war being waged by Russia, which is increasing the Kremlin’s influence on public opinion in the West, Poland’s Wprost weekly has reported.
Russia Today's Moscow studio building. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Artem Svetlov.Russia Today's Moscow studio building. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Artem Svetlov.

The magazine said that the EU’s response to Russian disinformation is East StratCom which aims to communicate the bloc’s policies to its eastern neighbours and, according to Wprost, Russia.

Meanwhile, according to Jakub Janda, deputy director of Czech think-tank European Values, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is not supporting the East StratCom team, the weekly said.

According to the weekly, EU member states last year did not agree to provide funding of EUR 800,000 (PLN 3.43 million, USD 842,000) to East StratCom.

Wprost said this was a “bad joke” compared to the USD 300 million pumped into Kremlin-funded international broadcaster Russia Today this year.

Just over a week ago, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the country has set up a new branch of its military – information warfare troops. News agencies reported that it was the first time Russian authorities acknowledged the existence of such soldiers.

Julien Nocetti of the French Institute of International Relations think-tank was quoted by Wprost as saying: “Russians know the art of disinformation like no one else and use it also in peace time”.

And “with no appropriate reaction from Europe, they are winning the war for now,” he was cited by the weekly as saying.

The weekly named weakening NATO and damaging the EU’s image in Europe’s east as the main objectives of the Russian information war.

Polish Member of European Parliament Anna Fotyga recently said at a security conference in Lithuania that Russian information warfare is wearing down resistance to hybrid attacks. (vb/pk)

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