Four foreign ministers warned that “Russia is rapidly increasing its disinformation and propaganda campaign,” which seeks to secure support to “political and military aims of the Russian government”.
In a letter to the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, the ministers called for “credible and competitive information alternatives for Russian-speaking populations and those using Russia’s state-controlled media”.
They suggested that Russian propaganda should be discussed at the meeting of EU ministers early in 2015 and invited European External Action Service to work out an action plan for 2015-2016.
The letter was signed by the foreign ministers of Lithuania, Great Britain, Denmark and Estonia, namely, Linas Linkevičius, Philip Hammond, Martin Lidegaard and Keit Pentus-Rosimannus.
Linkevičius, the Lithuanian diplomacy chief behind the initiative, told BNS on Friday that the ministers “do not propose censorship or bans, they only want conditions for truly impartial, free and alternative sources of information”.
In his words, Russia is earmarking billions to the state-controlled media, therefore, “the society’s immunity to manipulations should be a major concern”.
“I would want more attention not just in words, but also in specific actions to the conditions that would allow people to get alternative, free and impartial information. It should in no way be controlled by other “correct” administrations, as this would not be free information,” said the minister.
In the letter to Brussels, the four diplomats called for a platform that would provide information about the propaganda lies and manipulations, support initiatives to create Russian-language television channels, Internet portals, radios and press, encourage exchange of production within the EU and propose the production to the existing Russian media.
The ministers also said that the EU should pay more attention to impartial provision of information and transparency of interests, as well as prevent instigation of hatred, violence and war propaganda. To achieve this, the four chief diplomats suggested encouraging closer cooperation among EU media regulatory authorities.