The Seimas of Lithuania on Thursday backed amendments, drafted by President Dalia Grybauskaitė, on countering hostile propaganda, after 79 lawmakers voted in favour, four were against and 27 abstained.
© RIA/Scanpix

The amendments to the Law on Provision of Information to the Public stipulate liability for contents for all rebroadcasting companies, irrespective of their registration location. The changes will come into force on October 1.

According to the amendments, fines for broadcasters and rebroadcasters may amount to up to 3 percent of their annual income. Grybauskaitė said the new measures are needed, as "Lithuania is currently living under conditions of information war".

The bill also envisages that media companies that are deemed to broadcast war propaganda or call to change the constitutional order would not be eligible for state funding for one year. Furthermore, the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania would have authority to take swifter measures against such companies.

According to the bill's explanatory note, Russian TV broadcasts that contain propaganda have an audience of 400,000 in Lithuania, or about 15 percent of the country's population.

Lithuania has recently become the first EU country to ban broadcasting of a Russian TV channel in a move that sparked controversy.

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