The report also notes that "upon entering the information space of the Baltics and other countries, Sputnik's management seeks to form professional teams comprised of local journalists, commentators and others, charged with preparing news reports, creating topics, taking interviews and promptly preparing information."
Shy about long-standing charges of discrimination against its Russian minority, the VSD warns that once established, Sputnik will likely "attempt to present Lithuania as a country intolerant toward its national minorities." The report also notes that the agency has plans to "spread misinformation" using neo-fascist and nationalist concepts.
Ultimately, the report calls on Lithuania's journalists, the public and "each individual citizen" not to engage with Sputnik, "not to enter into non-transparent transactions, and to critically evaluate any proposals for cooperation." Moreover, the Department asks residents "to inform the VSD" about proposals for cooperation based on 'murky dealings'.
The Sputnik Multimedia Group is a news agency and radio network with news hubs operating in dozens of countries around the world. Sputnik broadcasts via websites, mobile device apps, social media, analog and digital radio. Since coming online last November, the agency has faced a bevy of criticism from Western lawmakers, officials and mainstream media outlets, who have called the agency's content "Russian propaganda." The agency has consistently rejected the charges, noting that what it offers is an alternative to the one-sided news coverage provided by much of mainstream Western media.