With the state of emergency in Lithuania now limited to zones along the country’s borders with Russia and Belarus instead of its entire territory, the Seimas on Thursday slapped a temporary ban on Russian and Belarusian TV and radio broadcasts in Lithuania.
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A respective legislative amendment was passed in a vote of 113 to zero with four abstentions.

The amendment to the Law on the Provision of Information to the Public imposes a temporary ban on rebroadcasting and online distribution of radio, TV or individual broadcasts by entities established, directly or indirectly owned, controlled or financed by Russia and Belarus.

The provision will remain in effect until October 16, 2024.

According to Vytautas Juozapaitis, chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Culture, “there can be no doubts today that we must safeguard our information space”.

Meanwhile, MP Petras Grazulis said that those who wanted to watch Russian or Belarusian broadcasts would always find ways to do so.

“Let’s allow people to choose all information and people will choose what they need,” he added.

The parliament voted on the amendment under a fast-track procedure as the parliamentary resolution declaring the state of emergency across the country and, inter alia, banning rebroadcasting of programs spreading disinformation expired last Friday.

The Ministry of Culture said that, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, rebroadcasting of the main Russian and Belarusian media channels had already been restricted in accordance with the decisions of Lithuanian authorities or pursuant to the sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States.

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