04:30 GMT27 October 2020
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    The Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission suspended on Wednesday the broadcasting of Ren-TV Baltiya Russian TV channel for three months following the president's statement.

    VILNIUS, January 7 (Sputnik) — Lithuania's Radio and Television Commission's intention to limit broadcasts from three Russian TV channels should not be interpreted as a restriction on freedom of speech, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said on Wednesday.

    "Censorship is carried out when politicians tell what the [Radio and Television] Commission should do. Censorship can be referred to when discriminatory laws are adopted or there is a political direction or pressure to do so. Here we can see a solution made purely by the Commission, exercising its rights and duties," Grybauskaite said at her annual press conference.

    Following the president's statement, the Commission suspended on Wednesday the broadcasting of Ren-TV Baltiya Russian TV channel for three months due to allegations of divergences from the official Lithuanian government position on interpretations of certain events in Lithuanian history and coverage of events in Ukrainian by the media outlet.

    Broadcasts from the Russian television channels RTR Planeta and NTV Mir could also be restricted for a period from three months to a year for the same reason.

    In 2014, the Lithuanian president attempted to reduce the proportion of Russian-language broadcasting in Lithuania from 30 to 10 percent. However, the Lithuanian parliament found that the draft amendment should be revised as it could potentially infringe on freedom of speech.

    In 2013, the Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission suspended rebroadcasting by the Russian-language First Baltic Channel of programs produced by its Russia state-owned parent company Channel One which the Commission claimed distorted Lithuanian history.


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    broadcasting, censorship, ban, REN TV, Dalia Grybauskaite, Lithuania, Russia
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