Speaker of the Seimas: disinformation is a major challenge currently confronting us
Press release, 6 June 2019
On 5 June 2019 Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas, delivered a speech on Central and Eastern Europe in the Face of Current Challenges in the framework of the 4th Summit of the Speakers of Parliaments of Central and Eastern Europe held at the Polish Senate in Warsaw.
According to Mr Pranckietis, the challenges currently confronting us are very similar across the whole region, thus bringing us closer together. Military action in Ukraine, hybrid threats, and the aggressive policy by Russia represent a common challenge for the security of our region. Likewise, economic and social welfare of our people is inextricably linked to the membership of the European Union.
In his speech, the Speaker of the Seimas put particular emphasis on the Eastern Partnership and its 10th anniversary. Mr Pranckietis maintained that tremendous results had been achieved, namely signing of the association agreements with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia and of the comprehensive and enhanced partnership agreement with Armenia, delivery of facilitated visa regimes or visa-free travel, and improvement of economic relations, all of which assisted the countries in moving forward towards the West.
‘The prospect of EU membership always has been and continues to be the main incentive for governments to pursue the necessary, albeit difficult and costly, reforms, while providing the stimulus to people’s support for the reforms. Our case and that of our colleagues in the Balkans and the associated Eastern Partnership countries can certainly attest to that fact,’ the Speaker of the Seimas said.
When referring to the democratic achievements in the region, Mr Pranckietis, however, pointed out that the major challenges confronting us should not be taken for granted.
The Speaker of the Seimas was convinced that hostile disinformation campaigns aimed at undermining national sovereignty, affecting political processes, particularly those concerning European integration reforms, and building up and sustaining instability were the primary cause of concern.
One of Russia’s largest disinformation campaigns is targeted against Ukraine in an effort to justify the illegal annexation of Crimea and occupation of a part of the territory of Ukraine. Similar campaigns are also directed against other Eastern Partnership countries aspiring to European integration, namely Georgia and the Republic of Moldova.
Mr Pranckietis believes we have to continue pursuing the Eastern Partnership and set further ambitious goals for the project. Although a relatively small country of the region, Lithuania has demonstrated its determination to share its experience acquired in the field of European integration and implementation of reforms.
Karolina Frolovienė, Spokesperson to the Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, tel. +370 5 239 6016, mob. +370 698 42 071, e-mail: [email protected]