The decision of EU states to ban the access of vehicles with Russian license plates is evidence of Europe’s Nazism and Russophobia, pro-Kremlin media writes.
NEWS: “The regime of sanctions against Russia introduced by the West produced no effects in economic terms. Therefore, sanctions are directly disrespecting the Russian people, Finnish political scientist and activist Johan Beckman said […]
The ban on Russian vehicles is an obvious act of ridicule, because it refers to a large number of Russians living in Finland. This is genuine Nazism. It is a carry-over of Nazi policy that stipulates the persecution of Russians. Allow me to remind you what Ursula von der Leyen recently said: “Russians should not be allowed to walk freely on the streets of Europe”.
This is in fact an older Nazi slogan, banning Jews from walking freely on the streets of Europe. This is an unfathomable act of aggression towards Russians, a racist behavior that surpasses all other forms of anti-Semitism. […] We can see everywhere messages that incite people to kill Russians. Our politicians are speaking openly about it”.
NARRATIVE: The EU’s ban on Russian-registered vehicles is an expression of European Nazism.
FACT: The EU regulation is part of the sanctions introduced in response to Russia’s war of aggression.
WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: Following the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU introduced a number of sanctions against Moscow with a view to deterring military aggression. The European Commission took a series of measures with economic goals, while others had a more social and political nature. So far, sanctions against Russia have included specific restrictions (individual sanctions), economic sanctions and visa restrictions. They are designed to show Russia there are consequences to its actions, while at the same time to effectively counter its capacities of continuing its military aggression in Ukraine, according to an EU explanation.
In this respect, European authorities drafted a set of regulations, recommending Russia’s neighboring states to ban the access of passenger cars with Russian license plates. The decision was adopted by the governments of Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Finland.
The European Commission states these rules equally apply to both private vehicles as well as to company transport operations.
According to Ukraina.ru (an outlet part of the government-owned Russia Today media corporation), Johan Beckman is a Finnish legal expert and political theorist who set up the Institute of Historical Research in Saint Petersburg in 2000. In 2008 he went on to create the Finnish Anti-Fascist Committee, whereas in 2014, the year that fighting in Donbas was the fiercest, Beckman, whom the Russian media describes as an independent expert, set up a “diplomatic representation of the People’s Republic of Donetsk” in Finland. Beckman is currently the leading authority of this officially unrecognized diplomatic office in Helsinki. Beckman is the recipient of the “Femida” Prize of the Russian Federation and the “Friendship among People” Medal awarded by the People’s Republic of Donetsk.
Although the Russian propaganda presents Beckman as an expert with no affiliations, the Finnish expert deliberately overlooks the background behind the introduction of the EU ban on Russian-registered vehicles, calling it an expression of Nazism. According to Beckman, Western sanctions don’t work, which is why the EU is taking revenge on Russian citizens. At the same time, Johan Beckman doesn’t mention anything about the reason behind the EU’s decision – Russia’s unprovoked military aggression against Ukraine. To prove the EU is a Nazi international organization, the article quotes Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, who allegedly said Russians should not be allowed to walk freely in European cities. The EU’s attitude towards Russian citizens is compared to the Nazis’ attitudes towards Jews during World War II.
In fact, Ursula von der Leyen’s statement is not even a recent one, and actually refers to a different chapter of anti-Russian sanctions, her statement having been clearly taken out of context. In August 2022, the head of the European Commission said it is inappropriate that Russian tourists should walk freely in European cities. She explained Brussels must send out “a message to the Russian population that this war is not OK, that it is unacceptable”.
In September 2022, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, discussed with Ursula von der Leyen a new set of sanctions that should restrict the visa regime for Russian tourists, so they may not enjoy European hospitality. “Europe is a land of shared values, it’s not Disneyland for those who support terror. And the visa restrictions will definitely prove that”, Zelenskyy said in the wake of talks with the European Commission chief.
The thesis about Nazism/fascism is specific to Russian propaganda, which uses it to justify the invasion of Ukraine and mobilize the Russian population, which has been fed the story of the “Great Patriotic War for the Defense of the Fatherland” against the Nazi aggression, an embellished version of World War II that omits a number of elements that don’t sit well with Russian propaganda, such as the USSR’s accountability for triggering the conflict (its alliance with the Nazis, the invasion of other states prior to 1941, etc.).