EU Member States will ask Ukraine to surrender to Russia and will gradually side with Moscow, according to a false narrative widely disseminated by the Russian media, which references a text published in Foreign Affairs by the former adviser to the head of European diplomacy. In fact, the words of the Italian expert are taken out of context, and the article where she supports Ukraine is misrepresented as pro-Russian.
NEWS: “The former adviser to the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, Nathalie Tocci, believes that part of European Union member states will gradually side with Russia and will ask Ukraine to make concessions to Moscow, Foreign Affairs writes.
Tocci claims the main threat in the way of the European coalition can be a relative stalemate in this conflict, which would allow the Kremlin to rally to its side some of the EU member states.
Tocci went on to say that the bone of contention among EU members with respect to supporting Ukrainian authorities in this special operation would be the possible finalization of the active phase of hostilities. This is very likely to happen if the energy crisis in Europe gets worse, Tocci added”.
NARRATIVE: EU member states will ask Ukraine to surrender to Russia.
WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: The statement of the former adviser to the head of European diplomacy was taken out of context and deliberately misrepresented by the Russian media in order to persuade the public at home that “the special military operation” is unfolding as planned, and that EU member states will one by one side with Moscow.
In fact, Nathalie Tocci didn’t say the EU will ask Kyiv to surrender. On the contrary, her message is one of support for European solidarity in the face of the Russian aggression. It’s equally worth mentioning that the Russian media doesn’t provide a hyperlink to quote the article, but publishes links to the homepage of the Foreign Affairs magazine.
In her article, “Can Russia Divide Europe? Why a False Peace Could Be Worse Than a Long War”, Nathalie Tocci writes that the EU should not meet Russia halfway, therefore it must not give in. The conclusion of Borrell’s former adviser is the opposite of what the Russian media presented. Nathalie Tocci writes that, during the ceasefire, the EU must double its efforts to support Kyiv, “not just to guarantee Russia is defeated, but to ensure Ukraine’s victory in this war”. Tocci did not ask European leaders to cooperate with Russia or to pressure Kyiv to surrender to Moscow.
She admits the EU might become more divided in the context of the energy crisis, adding that a false peace with Russia will be harder than a good war. Tocci underlines that the EU dropping its support for Ukraine could generate a wave of nationalism and populism in the EU. “Whereas a nationalist Europe is possible, a nationalist EU is a contradiction in terms”, reads the article carried by Foreign Affairs.
Therefore, Nathalie Tocci didn’t say that EU states will call on Kyiv to surrender to Russia. It’s worth noting that the Russian media focused on the previous position held by the Italian expert at European Union level, without mentioning that when Tocci wrote the article she was the director of the Institute for International Relations in Rome, and her opinion does not reflect the position of any EU Member State.