Linas Linkevičius: disinformation is the tip of the iceberg
“Kremlin’s information warfare targeted at the West has reached a hot phase. Therefore if we want to win the war, we must consolidate even more of our efforts and be more resolute and united,” the head of the Lithuanian foreign office noted at the high-level conference in Riga “The Riga StratCom Dialogue 2017”.
Linas Linkevičius believes if we want to ensure our security and defend freedom and democracy, essential values of the transatlantic community, we must clearly see and comprehend the whole range of hybrid warfare measures used by the Kremlin against the West.
“Disinformation and information attacks are the tip of the iceberg. There are many various activities targeted at our unity: sabre-rattling, blackmailing, cyber-attacks, and attempts to influence political processes. By doing so, the Kremlin aims to turn members of the Western community against each other, to hurt our mutual trust, and prevent decisions, necessary for our regional security,” Minister Linkevičius said.
According to the Lithuanian Foreign Minister, there are positive changes, too: our Western partners can better realise the scale of Kremlin’s propaganda and its goals and take more concrete steps to fight against it. However, these changes are not enough.
“We must continue strengthening the institutional capacity of the European Union and NATO by deconstructing lies disseminated from Kremlin-managed channels, increase the number of alternative information sources in the Russian language, and boost independent journalism,” Linkevičius noted.
The high-level conference “The Riga StratCom Dialogue 2017” held by the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga has gathered heads of state, politicians, strategic communication experts, and media representatives.
On 25 June, at the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) of the European Union in Luxembourg, after Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, presented the second report on the implementation of the EU Global Strategy in the area of security and defence, adopted in 2016, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania suggested that the focus should be on resilience inside and outside the EU. “What we must do first is to address our shortfalls – to block Russian propaganda channels that some EU members continue to broadcast by making use of loopholes in our legal framework,” Linas Linkevičius said.
“We face an unprecedented attempt to impact EU integration and at the same time to give a blow to the West seeking to undermine trust in democracy, human rights, solidarity, and the rule of law. Information campaigns are conducted and social networks are used to that end. The EU should resolutely withstand attempts to undermine ties with its citizens and with the countries aspiring to EU membership,” Linas Linkevičius stated at the Warsaw Security Forum.