Russia’s permanent representative to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, has denounced in an interview recent claims by a European Parliament political group about Russia’s disinformation campaign on the coronavirus, saying that it is strange to engage in accusations amid the ongoing crisis.
“This document would not deserve any reaction, were it not for the moment when it emerged. The current coronavirus pandemic certainly calls for uniting the effort of all the countries and all the people. Engaging in such plots and such obviously groundless accusations at this moment is more than strange,” Chizhov said.
When asked whether he was feeling any additional pressure from the EU in light of these disinformation claims, Chizhov expressed the belief that one’s interest in such accusations was most likely explained by “intellectual poverty.”
“Perhaps, there is some instinctive desire to shift the [blame for the] problems caused by the pandemic on others,” he explained, saying that Western Europe has plenty of its own problems to solve.
“We see how many infected people some EU member states are reporting, we see the intensity of member states’ mutual complaints, we see the problems European structures are facing as they try to find a common solution and a common way-out. All this can be assessed in different ways, but… distracting the public and making it look for a black cat in a dark room, especially when there is no cat at all, is at least not decent,” the diplomat concluded.
Chizhov proceeded by saying that it was possible that Europe could strengthen its common anti-crisis measures for removing the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, although it was too early to discuss.
Earlier this week, three German deputies from the European Parliament’s Greens/European Free Alliance political group called on the EU leadership in a letter to tackle Russia’s and China’s alleged propaganda campaigns, aimed at undermining trust in the EU institutions and values. However, the authors of the letter did not cite any specific example.