• December 29, 2015
  • 353

The AWPL advertising in the Russian media financed entirely by the state

On Tuesday the Central Electoral Commission announced a summary financial statement of the local government election – the statement of the income, expenditure, and debt of the parties pertaining to their electoral campaigns. The Electoral Action of Poles (AWPL) – in contrast to the leaders of the Lithuanian political scene – is not indebted. All the money for its electoral campaign came from the party means, so from the state budget.

“The debt of political parties and social campaign committees coming from the services with which they were provided during the last local government election amounts to €750,000. The biggest debts belong to the Liberal Movement and Lithuanian Freedom Union (Liberals),” the Central Electoral Commission reported on Tuesday.

The Liberal Movement owes €230,000, and the Lithuanian Freedom Union – nearly €226,000. The Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union is also among the most indebted parties – its financial obligation amounts to €159,000. The Social Democrats owe approximately €125.

According to the report of the Central Electoral Commission, the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania is not indebted. The party spent €363,767 on the electoral campaign; all the money came from the party means – allocations from the state budget. The sum of the party funds coming from the state budget – in the case of AWPL – was the biggest one of all the parties. When it comes to the others, what also accounted for the electoral campaign money was income from other sources, for example contributions from physical persons and legal subjects.

AWPL expended €278,142 on political advertising. The amount of €129,771 was spent on television advertising, €13,383 – on radio advertising, €67,080 – on press advertising, and €58,433 – on outdoor advertising.

According to the auditor’s report from June 2015, the party expended €93,232 on the commercial on the TV station, Первый Балтийский канал [trans. Baltic Channel One]; €13,383 – on the advertisement on the radio station, Russkoje Radio Baltija; €19,975 – on the advertisement in the newspaper, “Express nedelia”; €12,016 – on the advertisement in the weekly magazine, “Litovskij kurjer”; and €7,546 – on the advertisement in the newspaper, “Obzor”. On the advertisement in “Tygodnik Wileńszczyzny” [trans. The Vilnius Region Weekly] €12,477 was spent.

In the report on threats to Lithuania announced in March, the State Security Department stated that the Baltic Channel One, “Litovskij kurjer”, “Obzor”, and “Ekspress nedelia” “were under the influence and control of those who executed the Russian information policy”. The Chairman of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence, Artūras Paulauskas, also said in December that the above-mentioned media were “part of infrastructure of Russian propaganda, which operated in Lithuania.”

Translated by Karolina Katarzyńska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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