Lithuanian PM commends ban on Russian TV channel

“I do not think it’s too much – I believe it took a highly responsible step. This was a topic for some time already, and I think that the people of Lithuania who were watching the channel could see that it provided a very large amount of misleading information about Lithuania,” Butkevičius told the Žinių Radijas news radio on Thursday morning.

Meanwhile Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius says that banning Russian television broadcast will not solve the propaganda problem, adding he cannot comment on Wednesday’s decision to ban the Russian-language RTR Planeta in Lithuania for three months.

“Generally speaking, I have repeatedly stated that the bans do not solve the situation. However, in this case I cannot comment on the decisions made by institutions, as they were made without political influence. Being far from Lithuania, I do not know the true reasons behind them,” Linkevičius told BNS in a telephone interview from Brazil on Wednesday.

At the same time, the minister emphasized that “the bans are merely partial, as technically they are not feasible”.

The Lithuanian watchdog said programmes on this television instigated war and hatred, repeatedly violating the Law on Provision of Information to the Public. The commission also said the European Commission had been notified of the violations and the planned sanctions.

“Consultations with the country broadcasting the TV content and the European Commission did not lead to a consensus within 15 days of the warning, and the violations continued,” the Lithuanian panel said.

The decision will take effect on 13 April and will not require a court sanction, the watchdog’s representatives told BNS.

The body’s chairman Edmundas Vaitekūnas told BNS this was the first time the procedure is applied in the European Union.

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