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THEY WROTE ABOUT US
Poland and the Netherlands are proposing for the EU to set up a Russian-language television station aimed at countering Russian media propaganda, Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna said on Monday in Brussels.
The initiative will be introduced during Monday’s meeting of EU Foreign Ministers. Schetyna said that a conference looking at how the project will be financed is scheduled to take place in Warsaw on 10 September. “We regard this project as a Polish-Dutch initiative, but we want other countries to join us,” Schetyna told journalists.
Schetyna explained that the goal of the project was to ensure that freedom of speech and information reached Eastern Europe, Russia as well as Russian minorities in Eastern European countries.
“We want to create a new project, something which provides truthful, reliable information rather than the language of propaganda and aggression,” Poland’s chief diplomat added.
According to Schetyna, the new Russian-language television station could produce material that would be used by existing television networks, information channels and online platforms published in Russian.
“It is important for us that we enrich the media landscape, that the independent channel is able to provide real, reliable and useful information for existing media structures in Eastern Europe,” Schetyna said.
The Polish foreign minister said that the project could be launched next year. A feasibility study, commissioned by the Dutch government, has already been prepared by the European Endowment for Democracy. The study looks at ways to counter Russian propaganda and was presented on the margins of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga last May.
The report recommends, amongst other things, to set up an information agency for the Russian-speaking world. Experts also propose creating a so-called “narrative factory,” which would focus on media production. The agency could also provide grants to various enterprises and initiatives, such as the Riga-based online newspaper Meduza, set up by journalists previously employed by Lenta.ru.
Meeting in Brussels on Monday, the EU foreign ministers are also due to discuss and give their backing to the Iran nuclear deal agreed to in Vienna. They will also cover the situation in Tunisia and discuss EU assistance for the country, including in its fight against terrorism.
“This is something we are currently thinking about and we are discussing how we can help Tunisia, because this is a country which demonstrates that it is possible to have democracy, a free-market and a parliamentary transformation in a country within the Arab world. This is a country which deserves our backing,” Schetyna said.
The Brussels meeting will also cover the situation in the Middle East and the Israel-Palestinian conflict.