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Russia intensifies information operations against EU ahead of European Parliament elections - Borrell

Russia intensifies information operations against EU ahead of European Parliament elections - Borrell Photo: EU High Representative Josep Borrell (Getty Images)
Author: Daryna Vialko

Russia has intensified its information operations against the EU ahead of the European Parliament elections, which will take place from June 6 to 9, according to the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.

"After the launch of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, malign foreign actors, in particular Putin’s Russia, have further increased their already existing information manipulation operations across Europe and beyond. These operations are part of a wider set of hybrid and cyberattacks that foreign states, and in particular Russia, deploy against us and our partners," noted Borrell.

According to him, the number of information manipulations by Russia increased significantly before the elections, and this trend is particularly dangerous.

"Russian state-sponsored campaigns to flood the EU information space with deceptive content is a threat to the way we have been used to conducting our democratic debates, especially in election times. To address this challenge we need to invest in four areas: situational awareness, societal resilience, foreign policy instruments and regulatory tools," said Borrell.

Borrell also noted that EU states already have the necessary systems and resources to effectively counteract harmful foreign influences, especially during the European Parliament elections.

European Parliament elections and Russia's interference

On June 6, the EU will hold elections to the European Parliament.

Russia is trying to influence voters' decisions during the upcoming elections. For this purpose, it uses various types of propaganda and attempts to bribe European officials.

The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, has previously warned that Russia, China, and Iran could spread disinformation during the European Parliament elections.

Furthermore, the Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk, stated that the European Parliament elections are under threat of interference from Russia. Polish intelligence services already possess this information.

Moreover, the Prime Ministers of Belgium and Czechia recently called for new sanctions against Russia due to its attempts to interfere in the European Parliament elections.