War propaganda: the danger of Russia European Parliament resolution

“Productive work”

“I want to congratulate the journalists for productive work”, — said President Vladimir Putin adopted by the European Parliament resolution on countering the propaganda of third parties.

Third parties in the resolution adopted by MEPs on Wednesday in Strasbourg, were classified as such by the Russian media, like RT, Sputnik, and the Agency “RIA Novosti”, the Fund “Russian world” and Russian Orthodox Church, as well as resources used by banned terrorist organizations al-Qaeda and ISIS.

The resolution States that Russia provides financial support to European opposition political parties and organizations, uses the factor of bilateral interstate relations to divide members of the European community. The document States that Moscow is against the European Union “hostile propaganda”. Contacts and meetings with partners in the EU, Russia uses for propaganda purposes and public weakening the EU’s position, not to establish a real dialogue, spoken in the text of the resolution.

The author of the document was a MEP from Poland, Anna Fotyga, member of Polish conservative party “law and justice”. The draft resolution received a separate opinion of the Spanish Deputy Javier Kuso, who pointed out that to equate Russia and the Islamic state is irresponsible. Just voted for the resolution 304 of the Deputy 691, vs — 179, abstained — 208.

Putin the resolution saw the “obvious degradation in the political sense of the word the conception of democracy in Western society.”

Media threatening to sue

Lawyers Sputnik and RT are studying the possibility of recourse to the EU court because of the violation of the resolution of the European Parliament standards in the field of human rights and freedom of the press, said the chief editor of the Agency and the TV channel Margarita Simonyan. European Parliament resolution is a direct violation of the freedom of media and human rights, in connection with which the Sputnik Agency urges EU to prevent the imposition of state censorship, says the statement of the press service of the Agency. The resolution stated in the release, contains a number of unfounded accusations, including compares the activity of such media as Sputnik, with the activities of the terrorist group ISIS.

“That’s the piece of paper (resolution of the EP. — ) is the evidence of computer crime,” — said Maria Zakharova, a spokesman for the foreign Ministry. According to her, is criminal “with the real threat of terrorism, fundamentalism, moreover, the nutrient medium in the form of nationalism, xenophobia, to divert the gaze of the international community in a completely different way.”

If the EU comes to the introduction of “real censorship” against the Russian media and anti-Rossotrudnichestvo, Russia will have to retaliate, did not exclude the President of the international Committee of the state Duma Leonid Slutsky.

Problems RT

17 Oct chief editor of RT Margarita Simonyan said in his Twitter account that the accounts of the TV channel in the British Bank NatWest blocked. She later said that “account not locked” and “closed”. Published on the newspaper’s website the letter from the Bank NatWest has said that the closure of accounts should occur in December, and the card service will be discontinued as of November 14.

The next day the Russian foreign Ministry lock accounts RT called harmonized with the official London action “to eliminate inconvenient for British officialdom, but the popular among the British public news site”. Later, the Agency has threatened Britain with retaliation.

Signal to the bureaucrats

Resolution of the European Parliament are Advisory in nature, the EU authorities are not obliged to clear them out. However, the European Parliament has recommended strengthening of the “task force on strategic communications in the East” (East StratCom Task Force), turning it into a full-fledged Department in the European external action service (EEAS, the actual foreign Ministers of the EU). East StratCom there is just over a year and so far has 11 permanent employees from different countries of Europe, heads the structure of the British diplomat Giles Portman, who previously headed the Turkish Department of the EEAS. The operational group is designed to solve three tasks: to provide information support policy of the EU towards the Eastern partnership countries, support in these countries, independent media, and to resist “foreign disinformation”.

“[Although] the resolution is Advisory in nature, however, these resolutions play an important role in the application position and the formation of public opinion. I’m not sure that the Executive authorities of the EU implement all calls to resolution, for example, will turn East StratCom Task Force into a full-fledged Department. This will depend in the number and increase (or not) of a degree of Russian propaganda”, — said Tatiana Kastueva-Jean, head of the Center for Russia/CIS at the French Institute of international relations (IFRI). The expert drew attention to the fact that the promotion was perceived as a real threat to the national security of each EU country, so there are attempts at the national level and at the EU level to organize resistance. However, the Russian state media is hardly a threat of closing down, says Kastueva-Jean: perhaps, the authorities will be careful to check them, will not encourage officials to communicate with their representatives, but radical steps need some strong escalation of the conflict between Russia and the European Union, otherwise such actions would be contrary to the principles of democracy and freedom of speech.

With this resolution, the countries of the European Union can obtain additional financing of programs of the information counter Russia, says Timofei Bordachev, Director of the Eurasian program of the Foundation of the club “Valdai”. Document of the European Parliament, according to him, a political priority, therefore, it is always possible to appeal, it becomes an additional advantage for the development of programmes, financing for which may be made from the budget of the European Union.