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G7 countries could strengthen counteraction to Russian propaganda

Source : 112 Ukraine

Britain proposes a mechanism to quickly respond to disinformation
19:48, 2 May 2021

Open source

The Group of Big Seven countries will look at a proposal to build a rapid response mechanism to counter Russian "propaganda" and disinformation, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Reuters.

Speaking ahead of a G7 foreign ministers' meeting in London, the first such in-person meeting for two years, Raab said the United Kingdom was "getting the G7 to come together with a rapid rebuttal mechanism" to counter Russian misinformation.

"So that when we see these lies and propaganda or fake news being put out there, we can - not just individually, but come together to provide a rebuttal and frankly to provide the truth, for the people of this country but also in Russia or China or around the world," Raab said.

Russia and China are trying to sow mistrust across the West, whether by spreading disinformation in elections or by spreading lies about COVID-19 vaccines, according to British, U.S., and European security officials.

Russia denies it is meddling beyond its borders and says the West is gripped by anti-Russian hysteria.

"It's time to think of why the countries which are sick to the core with propaganda, and which used it more than once to justify armed intervention and toppling of governments ... accuse our country of their own sins," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on social media after Raab's comments.

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China says the West is a bully and that its leaders have a post-imperial mindset that makes them feel they can act like global policemen.

Britain has identified Russia as the biggest threat to its security through it views China as its greatest long-term challenge, militarily, economically, and technologically.

Raab will meet U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday, kicking off a week of diplomacy aimed at reinvigorating the G7's role and forming a wider bulwark against those it sees as undermining the rules-based international order.

"The scope for intense global cooperation, international cooperation with our American partners and indeed the wider G7, that we're convening this week have never been greater," Raab said.

He stressed that meeting in person - something only possible due to measures like daily testing of attendees - would make diplomacy much easier: "You can only do so much by Zoom."

The G7 members are Britain, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, and their combined gross domestic product is about $40 trillion - a little less than half of the global economy.

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