Longer Russian-language programs will have to be dubbed in Lithuanian, Seimas decides
Programs with a duration exceeding 90 minutes, broadcast in the Russian or any other non-EU language, will have to be dubbed in Lithuanian, after the Seimas of Lithuania on Thursday adopted an amendment to the Law on the Provision of Information to the Public, with 81 votes in favor, no votes against and six abstentions.
One of the MPs behind the changes, Laurynas Kasčiūnas, representing the opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, says the amendment is aimed against Russian-language TV and radio broadcasts.
"We hope this move will encourage our TV stations to pay more attention to Europeans broadcasts as the amount of Russian broadcasts is too big. Those broadcasts by our TV stations have grown 2.5 times since 2017, and in some sense they are not just a TV thing, naturally, they are also used for cultural influence and the "soft power", the MP told BNS Lithuania.
"The idea is very simple. Those broadcasts are aimed at bolstering that Soviet nostalgia and the spread of Russia's view of the world. And surveys in Lithuania show that the more people feel nostalgic about the Soviet Union, the more they are disappointed with the democratic order in general and the idea of the State of Lithuania. Naturally, it's an issue of national security," Kasčiūnas said.
Under the adopted amendment, radio and TV programs broadcast in a non-EU language, will have to be translated in Lithuanian if their duration exceeds 90 minutes, and shorter programs will be subtitled.