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France proposes sanctions to combat Russian disinformation

France proposes sanctions to combat Russian disinformation Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

France has proposed to the European Union to impose sanctions against Russian disinformation and interference operations worldwide, according to Bloomberg.

Paris's proposal would allow the EU to strengthen sanctions against individuals and entities involved in Russian-sponsored destabilizing activities worldwide. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Poland have already supported the introduction of such sanctions.

The draft document states that "destabilizing activities executed by Russia-related actors have increased everywhere in Europe as well – as the Russian regime has taken actions to undermine democracy, stability and the rule of law through a variety of hybrid instruments."

Ahead of the parliamentary elections in the EU scheduled for June, the European Union has made combating the growing wave of Russian disinformation its priority, aiming to divide allies on issues such as support for Ukraine and undermine relations with countries in the so-called Global South.

The G7 countries are also preparing joint actions beyond previous warnings to combat foreign information manipulation and interference, with particular attention to elections taking place this year.

Russian disinformation

Russia spares no effort to spread disinformation in Europe, particularly related to the war in Ukraine.

On December 6, the Center for Countering Disinformation (CCD) reported on Russia's preparation of a disinformation campaign against the top leadership of Ukraine. Fake materials were planned to be placed in foreign media outlets.

Andrii Yusov, a representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, clarified to RBC-Ukraine that the campaign aimed to discredit the Ukrainian leadership.

A recent statement by Ralf Beste, head of the Department of Culture and Communications at the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirms concerns. He said that Russia has significantly increased its informational influence in Europe aimed at undermining support for Ukraine.