RIGA – The Latvian authorities have blocked the Baltnews.lv website, which belongs to media group Rossiya Segodnya, calling it a “threat” to Ukraine’s sovereignty.
According to a notification from the national domain registrar to which Sputnik had access, the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided that the Baltnews.lv website violates the European Union (EU) provision of 17 March 2014 concerning sanctions for threatening the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
It should be noted that some politicians from European countries continue to provoke anti-Russian hysteria, especially in the information sphere.
For example, recently at the Global Press Freedom Conference, held in London from July 10-11, organizers denied accreditation to Sputnik and RT. The Kremlin rated the situation as absurd and regarded the event as a pseudoconference.
CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon criticized this decision. For him, this is a counterproductive decision that could lead to further restrictions on the media, said the CPJ chief.
The CPJ executive director also said that barring the two agencies encourages “autocratic governments around the world that use similar logic to justify cracking down on critical journalism.”
This anti-Russia hysteria in the Baltics is not reduced to Latvia, but also to Lithuania.
RT’s website reported two weeks ago that the Lithuanian radio and broadcasting commission (LRTK) had suspended access to Sputnik’s website in its country on the grounds of suspected copyright infringement.
The site Sputnik Lithuania explained that on July 3, the regulator received a complaint from the state broadcaster in the country, LRT, according to which the portal would be using their content without permission.
In accordance with copyright law, the commission has decided to comply with Lithuanian TV’s request and block access to the agency’s website Sputnik Lithuania.
The decision will enter into force only after approval by the Vilnius administrative court in the capital of the country.
This is not the first time Sputnik has faced problems with the country’s authorities. Thus, in late May, Sputnik Lithuania’s senior editor Marat Kasem was arrested in Vilnius during his disembarkation at the Baltic capital’s airport on a business trip.
Kasem explained that he was “detained under the designation ‘threat to national security'” and “banned from entering the country for five years”.