Disinfo: Lithuania and Estonia violate freedom of speech


Lithuania and Estonia do not respect the freedom of speech by restricting the broadcasting of Russian media and Russian journalists.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation message against the Baltic States accusing them of violating freedom of speech.

Estonia ranks 14th in the World Press Freedom Index, 2020. And Lithuania ranks 28th. Russia currently ranks 149th out of 180 countries.

The activities of Sputnik and Baltnews in Lithuania are in the focus of the State Security Department of the country.

The public report “National Threats Assessment 2018”, prepared by the State Security Department of the Republic of Lithuania and Second Investigation Department under the Ministry of National Defence, states:

“Russian information policy in Lithuania is conducted through the Russia-funded internet portals sputniknews.lt and baltnews.lt. Their goal is to extend Russia’s influence within Lithuania’s information space, promote anti-western sentiments, and shape public opinion favourable to Kremlin”.

The Sputnik agency in Estonia has been forced to move out of its office in Tallinn because of its inability to pay rent due to sanctions. In October 2019, Estonia-based branches of the foreign banks that operated the accounts of Rossiya Segodnya, the mother company of Sputnik, froze all its transfers, while other banks in Estonia refused to operate with the firm. This is the result of the sanctions imposed by the European Union on Dmitry Kiselyov, the director-general of Rossiya Segodnya, following the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis.

See similar cases of disinformation: Russian media are being discriminated in Baltic states; There are clear violations of the principles of freedom of speech in Estonia; Suppression of media freedom is the norm in the Baltic states.


  • Reported in: Issue 227
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/01/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Latvia
  • Keywords: Russia Today (RT), Freedom of speech, Sputnik, Baltic states
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