Western Balkans "poisoned" by Russian disinformation, says US envoy
U.S. special envoy James P. Rubin says that countries in the western Balkan region have been “pretty seriously poisoned” by Russia’s influence campaigns, writes AP.
James P. Rubin, who heads the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, traveled to North Macedonia on a tour that also includes stops in Montenegro and Albania. On March 11 in Skopje (North Macedonia) he told a group of reporters that it is primarily Serbian media that spread disinformation in the region.
“The main source of the threat in this part of the world is Russian-generated disinformation, often repeated and acting as a hub through Serbian media platforms and then repeated and promulgated here in the Western Balkans,” he said.
According to Rubin, Russian President Vladimir Putin thought that he could take over the Ukrainian government and divide Europe, but failed in all of these aspects.
“But that doesn’t mean Russia isn’t continuing to try to spread the poison of disinformation and division ... designed to divide people from each other, divide countries from each other, to divide communities from each other, to bring discord,” he said.
Rubin said he was working in coordination with many European governments and the European Union, and said the West is “just beginning to come to grips” with fighting back against the new threat.
As the IMI reported, the European Union named Russia the main disinformator state of 2022.
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