Reporting about an alleged Russian media “disinformation campaign” aimed at sowing panic and confusion about COVID-19 is based on an internal document that was not authorized to be published, EU External Affairs spokesman Peter Stano has said.
“What FT is reporting on is a working internal document which was not devised nor authorized for publication. Therefore, we cannot comment on its content,” the spokesman noted in a brief statement.
Stano noted that the EU actively documents "disinformation activities" by various outlets, including Sputnik, and not just related to COVID-19. However, he did not specify what sorts of 'disinformation activities' he was referring to, or offer any concrete examples.
On Tuesday, the Financial Times reported on a “significant disinformation campaign” by “Russian pro-Kremlin media” supposedly designed “to aggravate the coronavirus pandemic crisis in Western countries by destroying confidence in the emergency response.” As evidence, FT pointed to a nine-page EU document said to accuse Russian media of an ongoing effort to sow “confusion, panic and fear” over the new coronavirus and the Western response to it.
According to FT, the EU has recorded “almost 80 cases” of Russian “disinformation efforts,” including social media postings by “Russian state-linked false personas and accounts.” The newspaper did not offer any concrete examples of alleged Russian media panic-inducing reporting.
Commenting on the report, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it seemed that they seemed like another case of “some unfounded allegations which in the current situation are probably the result of an anti-Russian obsession.”