November 13, 2019

By Charlie Hebdo after speech of Russia Today’s deputy editor-in-chief Anna Belkina

The World forum for the democracy started in Stasbourg, the topic of discussion was “Is democracy in danger in information age ? ”

The forum was sponsored by the Council of Europe in the partnership with French government, city council of Strasbourg, Grand East region of France, department council of Lower Reine.

The topic of discussion appears to be important as never before. But that’s the deal: one of the invited participants of World forum for democracy represent one of the prominent media of the country which provides hybrid aggression against its neighbor. This participant was Anna Belkina – deputy chief editor, top manager of communications, marketing and strategic planning of Russian foreign broadcasting channel RT (ex-Russia Today).

After the return of Russian delegation to PACE (Parliament assembly of Europe) with active support of European countries, including France, the participation of RT representative in the World forum for the democracy is significant, it is evidence of more Russian friendly policy of European council towards Russia.

However, Europe was deeply concerned about information and propaganda activity of Russia on its territory and even tried to oppose it, making the plans of it.

In 2016 European parliament adopted resolution on the counteraction of propaganda of ISIS and Russia. The document highlighted that Russian government provides propaganda campaign against European Union and countries of “East partnership” (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine).

They note that “the Russian government is employing a wide range of tools and instruments, such as think tanks […], multilingual TV stations (e.g. Russia Today), pseudo-news agencies and multimedia services (e.g. Sputnik) […], social media and internet trolls, to challenge democratic values, divide Europe, gather domestic support and create the perception of failed states in the EU’s eastern neighbourhood” (European parliament resolution of 23 November 2016 on EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against it by third parties (2016/2030(INI)).

It is well known that Emmanuel Macron, who is patron of the named forum, refused to accredit Russian medias RT and Sputnik for his election campaign, stating that these medias were sharing fakes about him as the candidate.

Now accreditation is recovered. France is probably does not recognize Kremlin medias as the part of infrastructure of hybrid war, as the propaganda tools, as the channels of sharing fakes and misinformation.

The only fact of participation of RT representative in such respectful European conference dedicated to the problem of democracies is considered to be the end of resistance to Russian hybrid influence. It is clear that invitation of journalist who works for Russian propaganda media to take part in expert discussion on the issues of recovering trust to news and medias means that Europe does not consider activity of Kremlin medias as the threat to information security. Therefore, Russian medias are considered to be “normal” ones. Such fundamental change of consideration of Russian propaganda medias (and RT in paticular) brings Russia opportunity to broadcast propaganda and to manipulate audience all over the world. This achievement of Kremlin is preliminary work for increasing Russian influence in Europe, not only in the area of information activity.

In fact, Europe in being surrendered by so-called post-truth. 

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