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Mogherini seeks more "additional resources" to counter Russian propaganda
13:38, 14 November 2017
Mogherini seeks more "additional resources" to counter Russian propaganda

Diplomats doubt that additional funds will make a change

13:38, 14 November 2017

Open source

The scepticism immediately followed EU foreign relations chief Federica Mogherini's proposal for "additional resources" for her Stratcom counter-propaganda unit at a foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels on Monday, November 13. This was reported by EU Observer.

EU request for additional funds to counter Russian propaganda is unlikely to lead to much, diplomats have said.

She said the money would primarily be spent on her Western Balkans Stratcom cell and on communicating the EU's "positive agenda" more broadly.

It was "too early to assess" the extent of Russia's influence operations in the Western Balkans, she added, but she said "this is one of the files we will work on the most".

She also said the EU had a "powerful" policy to promote in the region - to say that "the future of the region is in the EU" and that Europe "is consistent and coherent" on its enlargement promise.

The EU foreign service contains 14 seconded diplomats and officials tasked with pushing back against Russian disinformation in eastern Europe, two staff on the Western Balkans, and six people working on Islamist radicalisation.

Related: Sweden, Denmark to strengthen cooperation against Russian propaganda

They do not have their own budget to buy tools such as media and big data analysis products.

The temporary unit also has no institutional basis and risks being disbanded at any time.

Mogherini's request for extra money, to be filed to EU finance ministers in early 2018, comes after they rejected a similar proposal last year.

As it was reported earlier Russian propaganda of state media and falsification of facts by the Kremlin has instigated hatred of Ukraine by Russians and intensifies the conflict. The international community must react to this threat, Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the UN Oleh Nikolenko said in a meeting of the fourth committee of the UN General Assembly.

Nikolenko emphasized that the Russian power has significantly restricted the activity of independent media, and intensified control over the state-owned ones, turning them into powerful tools of government propaganda spreading fake news.

Related: Paris Court convicts Ukrainian for criticizing Russian propaganda film

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