Lithuania's media watchdog will ask for explanation from Russia-registered broadcaster TV Tsentr over a TV program containing incitement to hatred and defamation of the state.
Vladimir Putin on a TV set
© RIA / Scanpix

The Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission (LRTK) decided on Wednesday to give TV Tsentr until mid-March to provide its comments regarding the infringements.

Edmundas Vaitekūnas, chairman of the LRTK, told BNS that the commission would then decide on concrete sanctions.

The Strategic Communication Department of the Lithuanian Armed Forces has found that the "In the center of events with Anna Prokhorova" program broadcast on TVC in late January carried content that incited hatred, disseminated disinformation and defamed the state.

In their findings submitted to the media watchdog this week, the military experts say that the program did not incite war, but it did incite hatred and contained "gray" propaganda.

According to the findings, a reportage broadcast during the program suggested that "the Lithuanian government in 1991 were nationalists" and that "Lithuania's authorities in 1991 ordered to kill Russian-speaking citizens", thus trying to convince the audience that "Lithuania's withdrawal from the Soviet Union was illegal and that Soviet troops at that time had only good intentions".

In the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea, the media watchdog has imposed restrictions on the broadcasting of four Russian TV channels.

RTR Planeta was the latest to be slapped with sanctions. The European Commission stated last week that a three-month suspension of the channel's retransmission, which ended on Tuesday, had been compatible with EU law.

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