US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Italy, which still suffers more than other European countries from the Covid-19 pandemic, has become an object of irresistible attraction for foreign powers such as Russia, China and Cuba, which use humanitarian aid to Rome for propaganda purposes, writes Le Monde.
At the same time, the European Union, whose financial support for the affected countries of Europe promises to be much larger than Russian and Chinese aid, would also benefit from learning the art of PR, the publication notes.
“How much attention! In its plight, Italy, a European country that still suffers the most from the Covid-19 pandemic, has become the object of an irresistible pull of foreign powers seeking to improve their image thanks to humanitarian assistance, ”writes Le Monde in an editorial.
“The first in the ranks” was China. On March 14, when the number of deaths in Italian hospitals began to grow rapidly, a Chinese Red Cross plane landed in Rome, carrying the vice president of the organization, accompanied by doctors involved in the fight against the epidemic in China, as well as respirators and 200 thousand masks. After that, the aircraft went to Milan, where the representative of the Red Cross was received with all honors, and he, in turn, made a comment about too many people on the street.
This visit, widely publicized by Chinese media targeting an international audience, was seen as a personal victory of the Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Mayo of the Five Star Movement. As the newspaper recalls, in 2019, Italy became the first G7 country to sign a memorandum of understanding with Beijing on the New Silk Road project.
Following the Chinese, Russians arrived. On Sunday, March 22 at the military air base of Pratica di Mare landed the first of nine Ilyushin aircraft that were delivered to the country , “Putin’s personal orders,” a hundred medical officers and eight mobile teams equipped with masks, gloves, masks and all possible facilities. Once again, Luigi Di Mayo faced cameras broadcasting images around the world to thank “Russia, President Putin, and the Russian government.”
Cuba, in turn, also showed generosity, having “lent” Italy 52 physicians and nurses who arrived in Milan on Sunday.
“Of course, such gestures of solidarity can only be welcomed, and we would rather watch how Russian planes deliver medical equipment to Italy than how they drop bombs on hospitals in Syria,” the newspaper notes. However, the use of humanitarian aid for propaganda purposes makes us recall that even during a pandemic, geopolitics “was not self-isolating.” The hidden message of Di Mayo’s speeches, according to the editors, is that Italy’s true friends are not its natural allies from the EU, whose solidarity was already lacking during the 2015 migration crisis. In the current health crisis, the closure of the Austrian border, and then the restrictions on the export of masks established by Berlin and Paris, inevitably fueled this idea.
Nevertheless, last Monday Germany announced that it would begin receiving Italian patients with its hospitals, and last week European structures took unprecedented measures to support the economies of countries that were the hardest hit by the pandemic, including Italy. According to the newspaper, the volume of this support is much more than the volume of humanitarian aid from China and Russia.
If the solidarity of the European countries themselves faced with the coronavirus epidemic in the field of healthcare really failed, it is extremely important to ensure economic solidarity, including in the period after the pandemic, the publication said. And it is equally important that the EU, which does not know much about the art of public relations, convey this information to the whole world. As Le Monde recalls, in January of this year, the EU sent 56 tons of equipment to help China at the request of Beijing, but this help did not get into the lenses of Chinese cameras.
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The article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by Ordo News staff in our US newsroom press.