Putin 'repeated old lies' in Tucker Carlson interview, says Commission

Russian president Vladimir Putin "repeated old lies, distortions and manipulations" in his interview with Tucker Carlson that aired on Thursday night, a European Commission spokesperson said on Friday. 

The Commission heard "nothing new" in the much-discussed interview, said spokesperson Nabila Massrali, adding that the Commission regretted that Putin had been given "a platform to manipulate and spread propaganda".

The interview had been speculated about for days before it finally appeared online on Thursday. In the interview, Putin told former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that a Russian invasion of countries like Poland or Latvia was "absolutely out of the question" and accused NATO members of trying to intimidate people with what he called "an imaginary Russian threat".

'Well-known' and 'dangerous' lies

The European Commission "saw nothing new in Putin's interview", Massrali said. "He repeated old lies, distortions and manipulations and displayed a great deal of hostility towards the West, which is not new," she said.

"These lies have already been the direct cause of immense suffering, war crimes and atrocities"

On Thursday, the Commission said it had no plans to add Carlson to the European sanctions list but that "propagandists" could, in principle, be added.

Massrali said Putin used "well-known" and "dangerous" lies in the interview to justify Russia's illegal war against Ukraine. "These lies have already been the direct cause of immense suffering, war crimes and atrocities committed against the Ukrainian people by Russia," she said. 

No interest in steps towards peace

"Putin also yet again demonstrated that he has no interest in genuine and meaningful steps towards peace," Massrali said. She also pointed to EUvsDisinfo, the European Union's project to identify, analyse and raise awareness of disinformation, for more detailed analysis of Russian disinformation.

On Friday, EUvsDisinfo posted "examples from Putin's carefully scripted out-pour of lies and disinformation" on X and placed them next to their reading of "what Putin really means".

President Vladimir Putin gives an interview to US talk show host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow on 6 February 2024 © PHOTO GAVRIIL GRIGOROV / POOL / AFP

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