State Department ducks condemnation of Russian propaganda

The State Department isn't quite ready to endorse the European Union's condemnation of Russia and Islamic State propaganda, despite its recent clashes with Kremlin-backed reporters.

The EU issued a report on "the propaganda of both state and non-state actors" and passed a draft resolution condemning such misinformation last week, with a particular emphasis on Russia and ISIS. But a State Department spokesman demurred when asked if he agrees with the EU findings.

"I haven't seen that resolution so I'd have to take that question," State Department spokesman John Kirby said. "Would I put Sputnik [News] on the same level with Islamic State propaganda? No, I would not."

The EU concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin has ramped up his country's propaganda efforts in the wake of the annexation of Crimea. "I was given the task of describing the propaganda of both state and non-state actors," the EU's Anna Fotyga said. "As regards the Russian Federation, the situation is Ukraine, many countries are fully aware of its disinformation and manipulation."