Zakharova rejects EU groundless anti-Russia statements

Maria Zakharova
M. Zakharova
It is ridiculous that the EU is critical of Russia for spreading false information about the scale of COVID-19 spreading in Europe, said Maria Zakharova, an official spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry at a news conference on Mar 19.

She said that such criticism against Russia is nothing but an immoral attempt to cover up its own problems.

(Pyongyang Times - March 23, 2020)

Maria Zakharova's answers to media questions as regard to accusations of unleashing a disinformation campaign to exaggerate the threat of the coronavirus in the West

Question: The EU has adopted a document accusing Moscow of launching a disinformation campaign aimed at exaggerating the real threat of the coronavirus in the West. How would you comment on these allegations?

Maria Zakharova: I think the allegations that Russia is spreading disinformation and fake news about the coronavirus in Europe and the world are perfect examples of disinformation and fake news. By the way, we don't even have to prove anything here. We can simply take advantage of the presumption of innocence. Any charges must be backed by evidence. If there is no evidence, then no charges can be pressed or used to conduct such an aggressive media campaign. We will comment on this matter, although the Russian President's Press Service has provided a comment on March 18.

I would like to add that this is not the first time EU representatives are trying to explain away their real domestic problems as Moscow's scheming. Let me remind you that earlier they blamed Russia for the migration crisis that hit the EU. According to the EU, Russia was also responsible for Brexit and the upsurge of Euroscepticism. And how could the Catalan separatism movement have ever emerged without the Kremlin's involvement? We were accused of all these and many other things. Therefore, I believe that EU accusations of spreading disinformation about the coronavirus have come too late. They should have declared on the first day that Moscow was a priori responsible for everything, without waiting for the painful consequences of this crisis for the EU countries.

To be serious, we believe that this is an absolutely immoral attempt to camouflage the EU's problems in combating the new infection using groundless anti-Russia statements. Instead of pooling efforts to fight the new global challenge in the EU and in collaboration with Russia, which is the EU's partner and neighbour and a European country, they are making such reports and planting stories in order to divert the attention of their own people. All of this is deplorable and damaging to the European Union's reputation. Our experts believe that the word "reputation" is appropriate here, but I disagree. To my mind, many EU bureaucrats lost their reputation long ago.

We suggest that our colleagues in Brussels stop using memes about an alleged Russian threat and focus on providing real assistance to Italy, Spain and other EU member countries that are the hardest hit by the coronavirus infection in this highly complicated situation. There is another element to the current absurd situation: Italy, which has fallen victim (in every meaning of this word) to the coronavirus, is reaching out to others for help, including Russia. It is disgraceful for Brussels to do this even as that country is asking Moscow for support and assistance.

(RF MFA - March 19, 2020)
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