05:12 GMT05 April 2020
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    While Russia is being accused of alleged meddling in foreign government’s affairs, the poll has shown that the majority of Europeans believe that the US exerts its influence over elections in other countries. Sputnik spoke with two political analysts about the US information campaign in Europe.

    According to Sputnik's latest public poll, conducted by the leading French pollster Ifop, only 21% of UK residents and less than 30% of continental Europeans believe that Russia has an influence on voting in other countries.

    The number of those who think that the EU interferes in the elections of other countries is almost twice as high in the UK (18%), as it is in France, Germany or Poland.

    Age of Disinformation

    Former political consultant of the French Foreign Ministry Manaf Kilyani told Sputnik in an interview that, “People believe what they are told, and the main information field is formed by the media. All the national media in Europe receive information, primarily from the United States.” 

    The expert said that there are basically four US channels that form the world’s public opinion. If those four media say that someone has influenced the elections from the outside, then the European media will say the same, “whether they want to or not.”

    According to Kilyani, the public opinion “does not ask the question of how much one can rely on certain messages. The results of the survey showed that European society does not have a real understanding of what is happening.”

    As for the alleged Russian interference in the US or French presidential elections, the expert said that such reports have appeared since the beginning of the US presidential campaign. 

    “The CIA, without a single solid proof, accused the Russian president and the Kremlin of influencing the US elections. They talked about telephone conversations between the Russian leadership and Trump's team. But other states also conducted similar talks and that does not mean that this state had any influence,” Kilyani said.

    According to the expert, this story of alleged Russian meddling was needed only as an element of pressure on Trump’s team.

    The expert further said that the US accusations are an example of real propaganda.

    “This is reminiscent of the times of the Soviet Union, when in all the political and economic problems, the USSR and the Communists were accused,” Kilyani said.

    Information Warfare

    A political analyst from London, Ahmed Abuduh, pointed out that the result of this survey among Europeans is not surprising as it reflects, “the scope of propaganda that the US is conducting in Europe.”

    According to him, in Britain they believe that "the United States determines the foreign policy of the Kingdom." In continental Europe, the mentality is different, where the French and Germans are trying to resist American hegemony. 

    During the presidential term of Barack Obama, the situation became so tense that it almost reached a scandal after Merkel and Holland’s telephones were tapped by the CIA.

    “The current US President believes that the EU is obsolete, therefore acts through NATO to reduce its role, especially concerning European relations with Russia," Abuduh said.

    He further said that Washington seeks, through information warfare, to reduce the share of Russian participation in the European energy sector. However, in reality, Russian companies are only increasing their presence on the European continent.

    The expert believes that Russian politics both in Europe and the Middle East lies outside the "dirty political game within these countries." 

    The public poll interviewed 3,228 respondents over 18 years of age in the UK, France, Germany and Poland.

    One-third of the UK residents think it is the US which exerts influence on the elections in other countries. However the percentage is significantly higher in Germany and France (over 40%). 


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