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Putin balks at European Union parliament move to counter Russian propaganda

Putin balks at European Union parliament move to counter Russian propaganda

Russian Federation and Islamist terrorist groups are increasingly targeting the European Union with propaganda - the warning in a resolution approved by MEPs, which aims to combat anti-Europe campaigns.

The resolution said since Russian Federation annexed Crimea in 2014 the Kremlin had stepped up efforts to "challenge democratic values, divide Europe, gather domestic support and create the perception of failed states in the EU's eastern neighbourhood". "Surely the citizens of the United States of America are also the target of Russian propaganda with the use of many tools such as Russia Today".

The Russian government practices the wide range of instruments, such as thinktanks, foundations and special state agencies, multilingual media broadcasters, pseudo news agencies and multimedia services, worldwide social and religious groups, social networks and internet trolls to question the democratic values, to sow discord within Europe, to gain support inside and to make the EU Eastern Partnership nations state institutions seem incapable, the document says.

Putin pointed out that while "everyone tries to lecture" Russian Federation on democracy, European lawmakers themselves resort to a policy of restrictions, "which is not the best way" to deal with any issues.

The EU Parliament also warned against propaganda from the extremist group Islamic State (IS), Al-Qaeda, and other nonstate actors.

The resolution says propaganda aims to discredit European Union institutions. "Moreover, the resolution bluntly contradicts the EU's own human rights and freedom of press norms", reads the letter signed by Sputnik Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan.

The EU "desperately needs an enemy, be it Russian Federation or any other", that it can blame for any of its own failures, French MEP Jean-Luc Schaffhaueser told RT. Praising Sputnik and RT for their work, the president expressed hope that real media restrictions will not follow.