Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite plans to cut Russian broadcasting in the country down to ten percent after accusing it of spreading 'propaganda.'
Grybauskaite said she wanted to “protect the nation and the society from distributed misinformation,” due to the “increased number of information attacks and hostile propaganda.”
Russian-language television can currently constitute up to 30 percent of broadcasting in Lithuania.
Before submitting amendments to Parliament, the president discussed them with experts from the media, members of the Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission and representatives of commercial TV channels and cable TV networks, ELTA reports.
“The project suggests that the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania could not only raise the issue of suspending a license, but also impose fines for propaganda, incitement of war and acts that infringe upon the sovereignty and independence of the Lithuanian Republic,”a press release from Grybauskaite's office rea.
“Today, nobody has any doubt that information security is part of national security. Hostile propaganda, incitement of war and intolerance, misleading information … represents a threat to our country’s security and democracy. We must take measures and integrate the European Union’s information space more actively."
In the past, the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania has suspended broadcasting at several Russian television channels in the Baltic republic on several occasions. The commission said the decisions were triggered by particular programs giving different interpretations of certain events in Lithuanian history and the current situation in Ukraine than the official Vilnius’ line.
It's not the first time one of the Baltic state's has raise concerns over Russian language broadcasting. Latvia previously banned Russian TV channels for spreading 'propoganda'. In Latvia, Russian language channels constitute the most popular TV channels.