Being a nerd, my immediate response was "why yes, Europa (the icy moon of Jupiter) is indeed very far away". Would that be a possible interpretation in this case? Are the moon and the continent referred to by the same name in Russian (as they are in my native Swedish, but aren't in English)?
The same phenomenon often occurs when Germans speak English. I believe it is an overcorrection related to other situations where it is correct to swap sounds. For example: Wasser - water. Germans know that their original "v" sound must be replaced with an English "w". In this English word: "invite", Germans will often say "inwite", using the English "w" sound, seemingly taking the correction too far. I imagine the same could be occurring for Russians.
In Sweden we also say that we travel to Europe when we leave Sweden southwards, but we would not say that we leave Europe when we travel back to Sweden or travel to our neighbouring countries. ”Europe” is still far away when we have the Corona plagueing us, isn’t it? In a sense - it’s far away now ...