Borrell: The EU is losing the narrative on Ukraine
In a blog post, Josep Borrell outlines how the EU is losing the narrative propaganda game against Russia at a time when the EU grapples with an economic crisis.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, after the G20 Foreign Minister’s meeting in Bali, said that the EU is losing the “global battle of narratives when it comes to Ukraine," adding that something needs to be done.
"The global battle of narratives is in full swing and, for now, we are not winning. As the EU, we have to engage further to refute Russian lies and war propaganda, making it clear who is responsible for the aggression and hence its consequences," Borrell said on his blog on Sunday.
My key takeaways after the @g20org Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the different perspectives around the world when it comes to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its consequences.— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) July 10, 2022
Read my new blog post: https://t.co/3jdQ5wMCkk pic.twitter.com/YCeTO7ifYV
According to Borell, the G20 summit, in the majority, supported the resolution condemning Russia’s operation in Ukraine. The members of the G20 are mostly NATO members or close US allies except for a small minority inclusive of Russia, China, and India while a few others attempt to maintain a sense of neutrality and balance their ties with both the West and Russia.
However, Borrell pointed out that this unity halts when it comes to discussing the steps forward and the consequences of the war. In his blog, Borell stated that “The G7 and like-minded countries are united in condemning and sanctioning Russia and in trying to hold the regime accountable. But other countries, and we can speak here of the majority of the “Global South”, often take a different perspective.”
In conclusion, Borrell highlighted that despite everyone’s agreement that the war in Ukraine must end, many refused or were reluctant to “name the aggressor.” According to Borell, that is because some called the Collective-West’s pressure on Russia a “double standard” and seek to retain good relations with Russia or at the very least avoid jeopardizing them when many do not agree with the NATO and EU narrative on the situation in Ukraine.
During the G20 Summit
During the G20 summit, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken refused to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, but during the negotiations, he addressed Russia and spelled out US financial help to alleviate global food shortages, which are claimed by the US to be caused by the crisis in Ukraine, a major source of world grain and corn exports.
"Russia is the source of the problem, the United States is focused on solutions," Blinken said, according to the Western official that was present.
On Telegram, Russian spokeswoman Maria Zakharova pointed out that “From the moment the meeting of the G20 began, Lavrov was in the hall and after about two hours began to hold bilateral talks in the next room with colleagues on the same forum."
According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, at the summit in Indonesia, the host country encouraged the G20 to help stop the crisis in Ukraine, which put some of Russia's harshest opponents in the same room as Moscow's top diplomat. "Aggressors', 'invaders', 'occupiers' - we heard a lot of things today," Lavrov told reporters.
He said the Western debate "strayed almost immediately, as soon as they took the floor, to the frenzied criticism of the Russian Federation in connection with the situation in Ukraine," adding that "During the discussion, Western partners avoided following the mand.”
Borell used the fact that Lavrov left the G20 meeting after Russia had been ‘frenzied’ to point another finger at Russia saying it is proof of "how much Russia really cares about multilateral fora."