Lithuanian watchdog moves to suspend Russian channel TVCI for 6 months

“Since violations persist and they (TVCI) had already been previously sanctioned, the commission decided to increase the period of suspension to six months,” Edmundas Vaitekunas, head of LRTK, told BNS on Wednesday.

The sanction will take effect it is approved by the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, which has three days to make its decision.

According to the media watchdog, comments made by Vladimir Zhirinovsky on the Right to Know show broadcast on TVCI on June 10 incited to hatred among nations and instigated war. The Russian lawmaker spoke about an occupation of Ukraine and Transnistria, the breakaway region of Moldova.

A TVCI representative was present at the LRTK meeting, but he did not acknowledge the violations, Vaitekunas said.

Lithuania started to restrict the broadcasting of Russian channels in the country after Russia in 2014 annexed Crimea and began to support separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The retransmission of TVCI was earlier this year suspended for a month after LRTK established that a program on the channel covering the events of January 13, 1991 in Vilnius provided defamatory information about Lithuania.

TVCI is owned by TV Tsentr, a state-run Russian TV company.

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