A new radio transmitter was formally launched in Lithuania on Tuesday for rebroadcasting the Russian and Belarusian-language services of the US Congress-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
© Vida Press

Programs of the news organization, which was founded to counter Soviet propaganda during the Cold War, can potentially reach about 100 million people in the European part of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova.

The new transmitter in Viešintos, in the northeastern district of Anykščiai, replaced the old one in Sitkūnai, close to Kaunas.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius called the new device "seven tons of freedom of speech".

"Freedom of speech is a weapon at a time when propaganda flourishes," he said during the inauguration ceremony in Vilnius.

The new transmitter will operate at the same capacity as the old one, but its transmitting power may be increased fourfold if needed. This would not only increase the quality of retransmission, but would also expand its coverage area.

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