MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. The European Union’s allegations about Russia’s coronavirus disinformation are indicative of its Russophobic obsession, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, commenting on the European External Action Service’s report, which claims that Russian media outlets had launched a large-scale disinformation campaign to exacerbate the coronavirus crisis in Western countries.
"From the point of view of common sense, I cannot comment on it," Peskov said, adding that the document neither contained examples nor cited specific news outlets.
According to the Russian presidential spokesman, "it is about some groundless accusations." "In fact, this Russophobic obsession could be expected to fade under the current situation, but it doesn’t seem to be fading," Peskov noted.
The Financial Times newspaper earlier wrote, citing the report, that "Russian pro-Kremlin media have mounted a ‘significant disinformation campaign’ to aggravate the coronavirus pandemic crisis in western countries by destroying confidence in the emergency response." "The overarching aim of Kremlin disinformation is to aggravate the public health crisis in western countries, specifically by undermining public trust in national healthcare systems — thus preventing an effective response to the outbreak," the paper said, citing the European diplomatic service analysis.
In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in more than 160 countries, including Russia.
On March 11, the WHO declared the outbreak a global pandemic. As of now, over 190,000 people have been infected around the world and more than 8,000 have died.