Disinfo: Russia closed trade office in Vilnius due to Russophobia in Lithuania

Summary

Russia closed its trade office in Lithuania because the trade activities between countries are low, also Lithuania is participating in anti-Russian economic sanctions. Lithuanian authorities are keeping anti-Russian and Russophobic positions since the period of the Dalia Grybauskaite presidency.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia in the Baltic States.

The accusation of Russophobia is the universal tool of Kremlin disinformation against other countries. It can be used in different narratives. In this case, the discourse of Russophobia is presented in the context of economic relations.

The decision to close the trade office was taken by Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade in order to optimize the activities of its trade offices abroad. In 2014, after the illegal annexation of Crimea Lithuania suspended the activity of inter-governmental commissions on trade, economic, science, technical and cultural cooperation with Russia.

The ex-President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite, was a well-known critic of the Kremlin (i.e. see her interview to “Foreign Policy”), especially in the context of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. The Lithuanian authorities continue to support Ukraine’s territorial integrity. However, contrary to the claim in the article, the imposition of sanctions on Russia were not the result of “Russophobia”, but a reaction to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine. Accusing other countries of “Russophobia” when they call out Russia’s misdeeds is a frequent pro-Kremlin disinformation technique. The EU sovereign decision to impose those restrictions was not due to US dictates but to the fact that Russia’s actions in Crimea and Sevastopol are a violation of international law that remains a challenge to the international security order.

See similar pro-Kremlin disinformation cases: "Russophobia is the main export of Lithuania", "Lithuania is afflicted by total Russophobia", The only idea that strongly unites Lithuanian society is Russophobia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 220
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/11/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Lithuania
  • Keywords: economy, Dalia Grybauskaitė, Russophobia, Sanctions

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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