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Lithuania's court rules to block Russian news agency Sputnik’s web portal

The regulatory authority does not link this decision with the nature of information spread by Sputnik

VILNIUS, July 12. /TASS/. Vilnius District Administrative Court sanctioned to block the Lithuanian web portal of the Russian news agency Sputnik. The Radio and Television Commission that is subordinate to Lithuania’s parliament and controls the activity of radio stations and TV broadcasters reported about the court award on its website Friday.

"The court approved the decision to block the portal, and it comes into force," the report says.

The regulatory authority ruled to block access to the internet resource at a session on July 10, but it was the court that had to sanction the decision. The national TV and radio company LRT addressed the regulatory authority in early July with a complaint that the Lithuanian portal of news agency Sputnik had published about 1,500 articles on the national broadcaster’s website illegally without the authors’ consent.

The court’s ruling will apply until the specified claims are satisfied. It may also be appealed in the supreme judicial authority.

According to the Commission, its decision is not connected with the nature of the information spread by news agency Sputnik. Lithuania’s intelligence services noted in their annual report for 2018 that Sputnik is one of the tools of Moscow’s propagandist policy. In June, a group of parliamentary members from the opposition called on the regulatory authority to conduct an investigation into Sputnik's possible violations of Lithuania’s law on public information and take the corresponding measures. Sputnik's publications allegedly contain incitement to discord.