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Ukraine's Foreign Ministry demands Financial Times investigate disinformation on arms smuggling from country

Thursday, 16 February 2023, 18:53

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (MFA) demands that the Financial Times immediately conduct an editorial investigation into the circumstances of the publication of materials with signs of disinformation in favour of Russia.

Source: Oleh Nikolenko, spokesman for MFA, as European Pravda reports

Details: The grounds for the demand for an investigation were the article of 6 February, headlined "Moldova’s PM calls for more EU help to curb Ukraine war smuggling".


The article begins by noting that Gavrilița, now the former Prime Minister of Moldova, told the news agency that her country "is seeing an increase" in the smuggling of weapons, people and goods from Ukraine amid the war, Nikolenko noted.

The author goes on to outline the scale of the problem: "Illegal smuggling of arms, people and goods from Ukraine has been a major fear for EU countries since Russia’s invasion last February, exacerbated by the vast amount of weapons supplied to the country over the past 11 months and the increased levels of people seeking to leave."

In response, according to the article, Brussels set up a "support hub" based in Moldova in an attempt to track and curb trafficking attempts. That initiative, Gavrilița said, had achieved "successful efforts to stop trafficking of arms and people".

Nikolenko stressed that quotes from Gavrilița in the article do not correspond to the headline of the Financial Times article. Gavrilița said the following literally: "We do not want to become a country where security threats grow, or there is increased . . . trafficking or illegal smuggling."

Gavrilița also says that Moldova needs EU support to "not allow these trafficking networks to grow."

According to Nikolenko, this is a completely legitimate desire of a representative of a country neighbouring another country at war. However, the spokesperson notes that Gavrilița does not directly speak about the facts of arms smuggling or its increase.

As Nikolenko states, the author of the article does not provide any evidence of arms smuggling from Ukraine.

The Ukrainian side has not received any confirmed information or specific facts from the Moldovan side regarding the arms trafficking from Ukraine, Nikolenko added.

Quote: "This Financial Times article is another piece of disinformation aimed at discrediting international military assistance to Ukraine. Russia is investing numerous resources to prevent the supply of Western weapons to our country amidst a new offensive by the Russian army. Obviously, the Financial Times article was intended to increase the fear in the West that the weapons being transferred to Ukraine will turn against the Western countries themselves, falling into the hands of criminal elements," the Ukrainian ministry spokesman said.

He added that in 2022, the same author published a similar article in which he also manipulated the topic of alleged arms smuggling from Ukraine.

In July 2022, EU foreign policy spokesperson Peter Stano reported that Russia had launched an intense disinformation campaign against Ukraine, the EU, and NATO, claiming the "arms trafficking" of weapons supplied by Ukraine’s allies.

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