Russia hits back at EU over coronavirus

The European Union said Russia was putting lives at risk by mounting what it said was a "significant campaign" to spread false or misleading information about the pandemic.

Russia

Russia on Thursday accused Brussels of “immoral” behaviour and seeking to mask its own problems after the European Union accused Moscow of spreading false information about the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, the European Union said Russia was putting lives at risk by mounting what it said was a “significant campaign” to spread false or misleading information about the pandemic.

“This is an immoral attempt to mask one’s problems in the fight against the novel infection with the help of unfounded allegations,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Thursday.

The US or UK, that it originally broke out in the United States rather than China or that the virus is an instrument to impose totalitarian rule

“This is already not the first time that the EU tries to blame Moscow’s scheming for certain problems they face,” she added.

“If there are accusations there should also be proof. If there is no proof then accusations could not be levelled especially in order to make such an aggressive attack,” Zakharova said.

An internal EU document seen by AFP warned that pro-Kremlin media outlets were promoting disinformation about COVID-19 in order to make the crisis worse in the West by undermining trust in healthcare systems.

Examples include the idea that coronavirus is a biological weapon deployed by China, the US or UK, that it originally broke out in the United States rather than China or that the virus is an instrument to impose totalitarian rule.

Read more: Russia forcibly kicks out and quarantines Chinese

Brussels’ warning came less than a month after US officials said thousands of Russian-linked social media accounts had embarked on a coordinated effort to spread alarm about the virus.

Russia has dismissed those claims as well.

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