2016-11-23 19:55:00

European Parliament names Russian religious organizations instruments of external propaganda

Brussels, November 23, Interfax - The European Parliament passed on Wednesday a resolution to combat propaganda hostile to the European Union, which, Brussels thinks, is in particular coming from Russia.

As many as 691 MEPs took part in the voting on this advisory resolution. It was passed by 304 votes to 179, with 208 abstentions.

The document holds that such propaganda forms part of a 'hybrid war' and seeks "to distort the truth, provoke doubt, divide the EU and its North American partners, paralyze the decision-making process, discredit EU institutions and incite fear and uncertainty among EU citizens."

The European Parliament admits that "the Russian government is employing a wide range of tools and instruments [...] to challenge democratic values, divide Europe, gather domestic support and create the perception of failed states in the EU's eastern neighbourhood," the resolution said.

The resolution mentions among such instruments: "Think tanks [...], multilingual TV stations (e.g. Russia Today), pseudo-news agencies and multimedia services (e.g. Sputnik), cross-border social and religious groups, as the regime wants to present itself as the only defender of traditional Christian values, social media and internet trolls."

According to the European Parliament, Russia is heavily funding disinformation and propaganda, funding political parties and other organizations within the EU in order to disrupt its political unity. The propaganda is aimed at journalists, concrete politicians and EU citizens, the resolution said.

The European Parliament assumes that the bulk of hostile propaganda is based on considering some EU countries within the traditional scope of Russia's influence.

The terrorist organizations Al-Qaeda and Daesh (Islamic State) outlawed in Russia are named among other sources of propaganda which the EU should confront, the resolution said.