Baltic States Consider Joint TV Channel

The Baltic States consider setting up their own Russian-language television channel in a bid to counter the deluge of propaganda aimed at their ethnic Russian populations by Moscow-backed media.

Numerous Russian-language media outlets already exist in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania but most emanate from Russia and toe its line on politics and history -- sensitive issues in a region that endured half a century of Soviet occupation.

Last month, Latvia and Lithuania each suspended the television channel Russia RTR for inciting ethnic hatred. Vilnius had already taken two other stations off the air.

The Ukraine conflict, the worst East-West standoff since the Cold War, is at the heart of the idea for a joint Russian channel, giving the talks a sense of urgency.

The Russian-Ukrainian conflict has led to a situation where waiting any longer is unacceptable, given the number of Russian channels being re-transmitted in the Baltic States,” said Ivars Belte, head of Latvian state broadcaster LTV.

"The Russian-speaking audience needs a channel in a language it understands and which objectively reflects developments in the Baltic countries."

Photo: Juris Kalniņš.

Latvian Institute, 07.05.2014, Society