France, Germany and Poland want to tackle Russian disinformation

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk (L) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speak during a press conference after their meeting at the Federal Chancellery. Kay Nietfeld/dpa
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk (L) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speak during a press conference after their meeting at the Federal Chancellery. Kay Nietfeld/dpa
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The foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland meeting near Paris on Monday said they want to work together to tackle Russian disinformation efforts.

The three countries have agreed on a joint warning mechanism against Russian troll attacks, French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné said on Monday in La Celle-Saint-Cloud near Paris after a meeting with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and his Polish colleague Radosław Sikorski.

The three countries had fallen victim to the same Russian destabilization strategy and wanted to defend themselves together, they said. In particular, the upcoming European elections and the Olympic Games in Paris are considered possible targets of such attacks.

“Russia is trying to destroy European unity,” Séjourné after the tripartite meeting, adding that almost 200 fake news sites have been discovered.

These instruments of disinformation should be disclosed transparently in the future, the French minister said. "We are ready to act to defend our democracy," Séjourné added.

The meeting also included a discussion on deepening foreign policy and security cooperation.

Germany, France and Poland want to move forward together towards a common defence and security architecture in Europe, Baerbock said on Monday at the meeting.

Not only do 27 different national systems in the European Union need to be better interlinked, she said, but in the future, joint procurement and joint projects in the defence sector must be initiated and operational capabilities must be pooled more closely than before against the background of the Russian war against Ukraine that has been going on for almost two years.

"If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin believes that our strength is dwindling and our support is waning, he is completely mistaken,” Baerbock asserted.

Also known as the Weimar Triangle, the format is an alliance the three nations created in 1991 in order to work together on European issues.

The three foreign ministers also discussed continuing support for Ukraine.

Voters in every EU member country are due to go to the polls in June to choose a new European Parliament.

Séjourné only took office a month ago as part of a government reshuffle in Paris.

Poland's top diplomat has only been in his post since the new centrist government led by Prime Minister Donald Tusk took office in December, although Sikorski had also held the job of foreign minister from 2007 to 2014.

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) welcomes Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk ahead of their meeting at the Elysee Palace. Julien Mattia/Le Pictorium via ZUMA Press/dpa
French President Emmanuel Macron (R) welcomes Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk ahead of their meeting at the Elysee Palace. Julien Mattia/Le Pictorium via ZUMA Press/dpa