05:27 GMT +319 April 2019
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    'Stalin, Crimea, Threat': Lithuania Having a Massive Go at Sputnik and Russia

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    The Lithuanian Defense Ministry believes that Sputnik news agency's coverage uses history to deny Lithuanian statehood's right to exist, which draws "real parallels with Crimea’s annexation," Minister Raimundas Karoblis said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Karoblis noted that he heard claims that "Vilnius should not belong to Lithuania because between the first and second world wars it was occupied by Poland" and that Klaipeda "never belonged to Lithuania" but was the gift of Stalin.

    “Sometimes [the disinformation] is through Sputnik, sometimes through their TV, but usually from politicians in the Duma," Karoblis told The Guardian newspaper.

    In this context, the Lithuanian official called Russia a threat and drew parallel with the scenario which ended with Crimea's reunification with Russia following a referendum where over 96 percent of local voters supported the move.

    "There are real parallels with Crimea’s annexation [from Ukraine] … We are speaking of a danger to the territorial integrity of Lithuania," the minister stressed.

    On March 24, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said that Russia was "a threat not only to Lithuania but to the whole region and to all of Europe" and asked the United States to deploy troops in the Baltic region on a permanent basis.

    In January, Baltic News Services (BNS) unilaterally canceled a collaboration deal with Sputnik Lithuania despite its full compliance with the terms.

    Last November, the European Parliament also voted in favor of a resolution that accused Sputnik of threatening Europe’s unity. Russian President Vladimir Putin, commenting on the adoption of the resolution, stressed that it indicated an apparent degradation of the concept of democracy in the Western societies.


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