06/10/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/10/2021 09:54
Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė has met with European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová, and has discussed the European Union's efforts to combat disinformation, the deteriorating media and human rights situation in Belarus and Russia, and support for the Eastern Partnership countries in this area.
'The EU attaches great importance to strengthening public resilience and freedom of the media, which has been very important lately, when fake-news has been weaponized by the Kremlin and turned against democratic societies,' said the Prime Minister.
According to the Prime Minister, Lithuania pays particular attention to and supports independent media and civil society capacity-building initiatives in the Eastern Partnership countries, as well as provides bilateral support to Belarusian civil society and independent media in exile.
Prime Minister Šimonytė has thanked Commission Vice-President Jourová for the strong support for Lithuania in the face of Russia's threats to arrest Lithuanian prosecutors and judges who had ruled on the 13 January case. It is expected that a Commission proposal will be submitted addressing politically motivated extradition requests from third countries and possible safeguards against the misuse of Interpol.
It has been stressed that the arrest and apparent torture of Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega had sent yet another worrisome signal to independent journalists and human rights activists across the globe. The EU must increase pressure on the regimes of Russia and Belarus, so that all political prisoners in those countries be released immediately.
Lithuania supports legislative initiatives regarding transparency in the European Parliament elections. New legal procedures across the EU regarding party financing and greater transparency in political advertisement are necessary in the run up to the next European Parliament elections.
The annual Rule of Law Report states that reforms of the justice system have had a positive impact on the efficiency, quality, and independence of the justice system in Lithuania. Fight against corruption, media pluralism, and involvement of citizens and other stakeholders have also been assessed positively.