Russia and China are once again suspected of spreading false information with the aim of manipulating Western opinions. This time, the accusations come from the anti-disinformation unit of European diplomacy. A report released Wednesday believes the two countries are engaged in “smear” campaigns to undermine confidence in vaccines approved by the European Union. The objective would be for them to take the opportunity to place their own vaccines.
The report accuses China and Russia of conducting “vaccine diplomacy”. For this, Moscow and Beijing “use state-controlled media, media networks close to power and social media, including official diplomatic social media accounts.” “The official Twitter account of Sputnik V is thus used”, specify the authors.
Sputnik V immediately reacted to this questioning via his Twitter account and in turn denounced “a campaign of disinformation”. The editors of the site blasted “negative statements by EU officials that ‘Russian vaccine is not needed'”. “If the EEAS (EU External Action Service) finds that information is not accurate, we would appreciate an official letter indicating which specific statements appear to be factually inaccurate, as we believe that all statements of Sputnik V are factually accurate, ”argues the Russian vaccine website.
Four vaccines approved by the EMA
The report estimates that “since the beginning of 2021, more than 100 new examples of cases of disinformation attributable to the Kremlin concerning vaccination have been added to the EUvsDisinfo database”. These practices aim to “undermine public confidence in the European Medicines Agency and to question its procedures and political impartiality”. The European Agency (EMA) has approved four vaccines to date: PfizerBioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.