France to Lead EU Push for Sanctions on Russian Firms Spreading Disinformation

In a move aimed at countering what it perceives as escalating efforts by Russia to sow discord within the European Union, France has announced plans to propose EU-wide sanctions on entities involved in disseminating disinformation. Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne made the announcement on Tuesday, highlighting Russia’s alleged tactics of spreading lies and manipulating public opinion to destabilize the bloc.

During a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Paris, Sejourne condemned Russia’s use of false narratives and interference in European affairs, particularly its attempts to blame Ukraine for incidents such as the recent attack in Moscow claimed by an Islamic State branch. Describing these efforts as “crude,” he emphasized Europe’s determination to counter Russian disinformation campaigns.

Sejourne outlined his intention to advocate for a sanctions regime targeting individuals and entities that support disinformation and destabilization efforts in France and across Europe. The proposed sanctions would aim to deter and penalize those involved in spreading false information and undermining the security and integrity of EU member states.

The move reflects France’s commitment to safeguarding the EU against external threats and preserving the bloc’s unity in the face of malign influence. By advocating for coordinated sanctions at the EU level, France seeks to send a clear message that disinformation campaigns orchestrated by foreign actors will not be tolerated, and those responsible will face consequences at a multinational level.