During the discussions, I had an intervention on behalf of EPP Group:
Please allow me to start by remembering a declaration of Ms. Margarita Simonyan, the chief editor of Russia Today (RT):
RT is capable of “conducting information war against the whole Western world,” using “the information weapon.” RT’s strategic aim is to “conquer” and to “grow an audience” in order to make use of it in “critical moments”.
It seems that Kremlin decided a long time ago that the EU is an enemy of Russian interests and it should be treated accordingly, by any means.
However, our lack of actions shows that the EU doesn’t perceive Russia as a real threat, and we don’t do enough in this regard.
We must end this “dolce far niente” and decide faster about our position on strategic communication and counterpropaganda, and such a decision must be followed by actions, with an appropriate budget.
Either we respond on the same scale, or we start an open dialogue with Russia, based on our interest and our priorities.
We must understand that it is not an ideological conflict. Kremlin’s propaganda is targeting very concrete files, such as the energy one. Using the old but effective strategy of “divide et impera” is clearly winning this game, if we don’t take strong actions.
In this regard, taking a look at the energy file, we can clearly see that there is so much to be done on our side. If we discuss the energy strategy with Russia, we shall make clear our position that must meet the needs of all Member States, not of just some of them, and to be firm on it. If we allow Russia to divide us on such an important matter, EU’s interests will suffer.