Why does Russian propaganda vex the EU?

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/11/24 23:33:39

Donald Trump's presidential election win has raised people's expectation of an improvement in US-Russian relations. At this critical juncture, a new round of friction between Russia and the West emerged over recent Moscow's deployment of state-of-the-art missiles in its Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad. NATO on Tuesday lashed out at Russia's move, saying it is "aggressive military posturing."

Right after NATO's accusation, the European Parliament Wednesday voted on a resolution to counter what it says is anti-EU propaganda coming from Russia. The attacks on the Kremlin from NATO and the European Parliament, as formal as they are, can be seen as an escalation of confrontations between the West and Russia. Moscow responded in a hard-line manner, saying the resolution countering Russian media is an "information crime." It also defended its missile deployment as "Russia is doing everything necessary to ensure its security in the face of expansion by NATO towards its borders."

The new clashes reveal the deep-rooted discrepancies between the West and Russia, the strategic interest and ideologies of which are gravely contradictory. Ironically, the EU appeared to be on the losing side of Russia's "aggressive propaganda," but Europe has long been the main force of the West to launch a war of words against non-Western countries and a main advocate of freedom of the press.

Now European countries are keeping high alert toward Moscow's so-called propaganda war and its potential to divide Europe. Washington also suspected the Kremlin's intervention in its presidential election. Russia cannot be counted as a powerful country in terms of discourse power compared with Western countries, but why is the West afraid now?

The problem comes from within the West. Western political elites and media have long treated the entire world as their "home court" and always sniff at protests from non-Western nations. The latter can at most respond by retorting or making clarifications when their internal affairs are intervened in. It's rare to see them pass a formal resolution to counter a war of words. Now it comes from the European parliament against Moscow's propaganda war. It must feel deeply hurt.

Over the past decades, the West has been indulged because of its advantageous position. Russian media is not developed and the budget for external propaganda must be limited. But the West feels so uneasy about it. It's a dramatic and ridiculous scenario.

Chinese people believe the West is still strong. But the EU Parliament's protest against Russia is making people confused. Apparently, the West is fragile in its own way. The whole world is suffering from depressed development today. Which countries can move forward under the current circumstances will depend on their endurance and tenacity as they confront difficulties.

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