The recommendation comes as the current nationwide ban on Russian and Belarusian media in Lithuania is set to expire after the parliament voted on Wednesday to extend the state of emergency only on the borders with the two countries, it said in a press release.

The media watchdog, therefore, "strongly advises" that TV rebroadcasters and online distributors operating in Lithuania "avoid retransmitting" programs of "entities established, directly or indirectly owned, controlled or financed" by Russia and Belarus.

Vytautas Juozapaitis, chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Culture, said on Tuesday that he had registered amendments to the Law on the Provision of Information to the Public to allow a temporary ban on the retransmission and distribution of radio programs, television programs or individual programs by such Russian and Belarusian entities.

Deputy Culture Minister Vygintas Gasparavicius said on Monday that the key restrictions on media outlets controlled by Moscow and Minsk would remain in place once the nationwide state of emergency was lifted, but some entertainment channels would be allowed to return to the airwaves.

In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the RTCL suspended the free reception of nine Russian-language TV programs and 32 Gazprom-Media controlled TV programs, and blocked 92 websites with pro-Kremlin propaganda content.

At the same time, the watchdog recommended that telecom operators providing retransmission services in Lithuania include certain Ukrainian TV programs and independent Russian-language media channels in their packages.

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