MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the press release, BNS chief Tomo Balzeko sent a relevant letter to the Sputnik office saying that the cooperation will be halted on February 1. However, Balzeko did not explain the reasons of such a step.
The press service said that the termination of the contract had become a surprise for the agency, as Sputnik had fully implemented all the obligations in time.
"The Sputnik lawyers will be clarifying the legitimacy of BNS actions in the court. The termination of the contract currently seems to be politically motivated," the press release reads.
According to the statement, the BNS decision comes after Sputnik Lithuania published an interview with Dmitry Kiselev, director general of the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, during which he said that the level of freedom of speech in Europe was lower than in Russia. Kiselev also said that the level of freedom of speech in the European Union was restricted by "political correctness and blatant Russophobia."
Lithuania's practice of clamping down on Russian media has been a part of a trend across the Baltic states over the recent years. Amid conflicting stances on the Ukrainian crisis, a number of local media outlets have adopted a one-sided approach to covering the events. The Baltic states have taken harsh stances toward Russian media operations.
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