DISINFO: Lithuania hopes to transform the Belarusian opposition into Russophobes and Sinophobes
  • Outlet: baltnews.lt (archived)*
  • Date of publication: January 20, 2022
  • Article language(s): Russian
  • Reported in: Issue 270
  • Countries / regions discussed: Lithuania, Belarus, Russia, China
Russophobia Anti-Russian

DISINFO: Lithuania hopes to transform the Belarusian opposition into Russophobes and Sinophobes


Vilnius fosters anti-Russian and anti-Chinese sentiments within the Belarusian opposition, which hide out in Lithuania. Vilnius hope to transform Belarus into a country of Russophobes and Sinophobes in the future.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about alleged Russophobia in Lithuania.

The claim that Lithuania (and other Baltic States and Poland) are Russophobic countries, that is frequently made by the pro-Kremlin media, is ungrounded.

Lithuania has legitimate security concerns linked to Russia. The source of concern is Russia's aggression toward neighbouring countries and how it affects the security situation in the region in general. Its state security strategy stressed that the “capacity of the Russian Federation to use military and economic, energy, information and other non-military measures in combination against the neighbouring countries [...] is a challenge to the security of the Republic of Lithuania”.

The accusation of Lithuanian Sinophobia is also ungrounded. The political situation between Lithuania and China escallated after Lithuania opened Taiwanese representative office in Vilnius. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania stated that “Lithuania reaffirms its adherence to the ‘One China’ policy, but, at the same time, has the right to expand cooperation with Taiwan and to receive and establish non-diplomatic representations for ensuring the practical development of such ties, the way many other countries do”.

The granting of asylum for representatives of the Belarusian opposition in Lithuania is not related to alleged "Russophobia" or "Sinaphobia". Vilnius supports representatives of the Belarusian opposition and Belarus' civil society due to humanitarian reasons. I.e., Lithuania reacted to oppression against protesters in Belarus in 2020-2021. In mid-August 2020 Lithuania opened a humanitarian corridor for politically persecuted Belarusians. In December 2020, the Lithuanian Government also decided to issue Lithuanian national visas free of charge to regime-persecuted Belarusians. All citizens of Belarus who risked reprisals had the possibilit to use a humanitarian corridor or obtain a free Lithuanian national visa.

Lithuania also granted asylum for one of the leaders of the Belarusian opposition, former candidate in the presidential elections 2020, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. She was forced to go into exile. In July 2021 Lithuania designated Tsikhanouskaya's team as a “democratic representation of Belarus”.

See other cases of disinformation claiming that Lithuania want to interfere into Belarusian affairs: Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine attempted to stage a coup in Belarus; Poland and Lithuania implement the most aggressive policy against Belarus; Lithuania constantly interferes in the affairs of Belarus.


Related disinfo cases


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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