WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — In June 2015, US Senator and presidential candidate Lindsey Graham introduced a Senate bill calling for a total of $728.2 million to enable the BBG to carry out international communications activities.
“One of the key elements of winning the Cold War without firing a shot… is the propaganda, the message, the social networking,” McCain said in a speech to the Hudson Institute.
McCain, however, argued that US messaging to Russian speaking audiences is something “we are going to have to do a lot more of.”
The US Congress has recently taken action to increase funding to the government-sponsored media agency, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). In April 2015, the BBG requested $15.4 million to expand its Russian-language programming and social media content.
Poland, Romania, Moldova and the Baltic states are being “inundated” with “constant incessant, sophisticated messages that we have to counter,” the Senator noted.
McCain, who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he is working with the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to get US messaging efforts “on track.”
The outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014 led to a deterioration in relations between the West and Russia, with Western media alleging Russian involvement in the conflict. Russia repeatedly denied the allegations and asked for proof, which West has not been able to provide.
In May 2015, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the West had imposed an information blockade on the events in Ukraine, and urged international observers to provide factual assessments to the issue.