Ramūnas Karbauskis, chairman of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU), says that a parliamentary scrutiny of the finances of the Lithuanian Radio and Television (LRT) is "necessary and inevitable" because of the "chaotic" way in which the public broadcaster provided its answers to lawmakers' inquiries.
Ramūnas Karbauskis at the Press Conference on the LRT
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

"The Seimas members' decision to form a commission to scrutinize LRT's financial activities is necessary and inevitable. The material the Seimas members received from the LRT Council is provided in a completely chaotic way. There are no descriptions and no contracts, and some cost estimates are not provided, even though the producer's consent to provide that information was received," Karbauskis said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"The messy way in which the documents were provided point to a possible mess in the handling of LRT documents, too," he said.

Karbauskis insisted that the parliamentary scrutiny was not aimed at interfering into media work.

The LFGU leader showed copies of some documents during the news conference, saying that he did so to prevent "further discussions about politics being done here".

The Seimas in early January set up a special commission for parliamentary scrutiny of LRT, saying that it will look at whether the public broadcaster rationally spends budget money. Lawmakers note that the LRT Council failed to provide some of the information they had requested, citing confidentiality clauses in its contracts as the reason, and that the answers it did give require detailed analysis.

Critics describe the establishment of the commission as an effort to put pressure on the media and take revenge on journalists asking the ruling LFGU uncomfortable questions.

BNS
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