Home Awareness The “Weimar format”: this diplomatic tool in the face of Russian disinformation

The “Weimar format”: this diplomatic tool in the face of Russian disinformation

It is a historic trilateral diplomatic discussion format, once again mobilized against Moscow. This Monday, France, Germany and Poland will unveil new cooperation against foreign disinformation operations, particularly coming from Russia, announced the head of French diplomacy in an interview this weekend with the regional daily Ouest France.

Paris, Berlin and Warsaw gathered together at the same table: this is also called the “Weimar triangle”, named after this platform for regular exchanges between three of the most influential countries in Europe. Created in 1991, named after the city where the Constitution of the German Republic of Weimar (1918-1933) was established, this cooperation initially aimed to support Poland’s accession to NATO. It then became a diplomatic tool to support political and diplomatic choices within the European Union, but also internationally. The heads of state of the three countries met for the last time last June at the Elysée, in order to coordinate on the question of military aid to Ukraine.

This time, it is therefore the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Séjourné, his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock and Polish Radosław Sikorski, who will be gathered this Monday at the Château de la Celle-Saint-Cloud, in Yvelines, not far from Paris, to discuss the new information attacks launched by Moscow against the three countries. But also European defense issues, including support for Ukraine, or the situation in the Middle East. The objective assumed by Stéphane Séjourné: highlighting Russian interference each on their own is one thing; but “when three countries denounce it at the same time, it has force”.

“Our three countries have been victims of the same destabilization strategy. On Monday, we will make announcements on new cooperation against Russian disinformation and information attacks,” Stéphane Séjourné declared to the French regional daily, in an interview published on Saturday. So far, attacks have notably been carried out via troll factories and fake news sites.

“We will transparently reveal to public opinion the instruments of this disinformation. We will reveal the attacks that are being committed. And with proof,” he assured, also noting “concordant elements which indicate that there are dormant operations. Tools that can be activated at any time, particularly during an election” in the three countries, while according to the head of French diplomacy, all countries of the European Union are confronted with Russian disinformation.

“Creating confusion among citizens”

Stéphane Séjourné also argues that Russia, failing to be able to divide the EU politically, is implementing “a strategy of destabilization and division in the population, in public opinions”. “On social networks, on information sites, there is a structural organization that has been set up to misinform. To create confusion among citizens. With real fake news,” he says. With “the objective of building divisions within the European population which politically destabilize all democracies”.

This article is originally published on lexpress.fr/

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