Disinfo: Baltic states continuously obstruct work of Russian media

Summary

Latvia stopped retransmission of channel “Rossiya RTR” in cable TV networks.

The authorities of Baltic states continuously obstruct work of Russian media. It is coordinated action. The cases of the oppression of Russian media in the Baltic states show the real worth of demagogical statements of Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn about their commitment to democracy and freedom of the speech.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation message about the Baltic States.

On 8 February 2021, Latvia's broadcast regulator, the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) suspended rebroadcasting of the Russian government-owned “Rossiya RTR” program in Latvia for a full year commencing on 15 February. The decision was taken because significant violations of the law had been identified, in connection with incitement of animosity and hatred, encouragement to engage in violence, and kindling military conflict.

Both the Latvian national law on electronic mass media as well as the European Union's Audiovisual Media Services Directive prohibit the incitement of hatred, calls to engage in violence, and the kindling of military conflict. The NEPLP decision was taken in accordance with the procedure laid down in the European Union's Audiovisual Media Services Directive, and conveyed to representatives not only of Rossiya RTR, but also representatives of the European Commission and the Swedish media regulator (since “Rossiya RTR” is registered in Sweden).

This is not the first time such a suspension has been imposed on Rossiya RTR. On 31 January 2019, the NEPLP took the decision to suspend retransmission of “Rossiya RTR” into Latvia’s territory for a period of three months in accordance with Latvia’s law on the electronic mass media. On 3 May 2019, the European Commission confirmed that the measures which Latvia’s NEPLP had decided to take in response to Rossiya RTR’s violations of the law were compatible with EU law.

The Baltic states respect freedom of the speech. In the “Freedom of the press 2020” ranking (by Reporters Without Borders) Estonia is on 14th place, Latvia on 22nd place, Lithuania on 28th place. Estonia belongs to the group of states where the situation is evaluated as “good”, the situation in Latvia and Lithuania is “fairly good”. Russia, however, holds in this ranking 149th position, with the situation of media freedom in the country described as “bad”.

Baltic states provide a broad choice of sources of information for its inhabitants, including information in the Russian language. I.e., Latvian Public Service Media offer a full-time radio programme as well as TV productions including daily news and analytics in Russian. The multimedia news platform has an editorially independent Russian language section rus.lsm.lv.

Out of approximately 385 television programmes registered by the Latvian media regulator 50 are available in Latvian, more than 200 – in Russian, approximately 200 – in English, 21 – in Ukrainian, 2 – in Belarusian etc. (the exact numbers change all the time). All of the top 5 most visited Latvian internet news platforms have Russian versions. There are 44 commercial and non-commercial radio programmes registered in Latvia, 17 of those broadcast in Russian.

See similar cases of disinformation: Latvia is persecuting Russian media; Violation of freedom of speech in Central and Eastern Europe supervised by the US; The Baltic States are persecuting the Russian media.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 231
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/02/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Russian, Lithuanian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Latvia
  • Keywords: Freedom of speech, Media, State oppression, Baltic states
see more

Ukraine has not fulfilled one single point in the Minsk agreement

The war in Donbas is in its eight year. In 2015, the second Minsk agreement was signed to stop the bloodshed. But Kyiv continues to ignore this document. Not one single point of this document has been fulfilled by Ukraine.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that Ukraine and implementation of the Minsk agreements.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated multiple times that the achievement of a full, comprehensive, and long-lasting ceasefire is one of the key priorities of the Ukrainian government.

Sweden has decided to obstruct Nordstream 2

Sweden has decided to obstruct the project of the gas pipeline Nordstream 2. A member of the Swedish parliament has appealed for this to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden.

Disproof

A recurring disinformation narrative about the Nord Stream 2. A question in the parliament does not mean that Sweden “will obstruct” the construction of Nord Stream 2. Sweden’s government has declared that the country is skeptical towards the project, but does not have any legal abilities to act against it.

The commotion around Navalny is a scheme to hide Khodorkovsky’s plans

Mikhail Khodorkovsky is at least for the moment, the most serious figure among the emigrant politicians, hostile to the Russian state and people. Without posing as a leader, he finances others, the most dangerous anti-Russian revolutionary projects. What we see is only the tip of the iceberg.

All the commotion that Navalny managed to create with his return and his arrest, all the illegal meetings with a participation of less than 200 000, all those torch lights 14 February and the discussions whether Yuliya Navalnaya is a Russian Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya or even Winnie Mandela… These are facts. It is really a secret operation against Russia, well planned and maybe even with chances to succeed – but it is also an cover up.

Secure in exile there is a person, who has the possibility to invest from his own money in a new destructive Russian revolution no less recourses than Soros. This is also a fact. It is wise not to forget about this.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the countrywide protests in Russia, Alexei Navalny and Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Similar cases can be found here.

Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was arrested and shortly after sentenced to prison following his return to Russia from Germany, where he was treated for poisoning with a Novichok-type chemical nerve agent. The European Union has condemned his arrest and demanded his immediate release.