Security culture reduces effects of misinformation, roundtable

What Moldova is doing to promote a culture of security is very important, says Kestutis Kudzmanas, Lithuania’s ambassador to Moldova. During a roundtable held by the NATO Liaison Office in Chisinau, the diplomat noted that Lithuania, the European Union and NATO are doing the same. “Our goals are the same: fight against misinformation, corruption, solving environmental problems – disposal of expired pesticides. Everything from technical problems, to the resilience of society in the face of outside influence”, said Kestutis Kudzmanas.

Commenting on the myth that foreign aid equals control from outside, the ambassador said that foreign-funded projects are actually meant to free Moldova from any control, including psychological. Disinformation, soft power, attacks on Moldova from abroad are also directed against Lithuania and the Baltic republics in general. “I can say that the Baltic countries are more resistant to misinformation. Our experience can be shared with our partners. Our countries must defend themselves against strong flows of misinformation. Unfortunately, societies in some Western states are more relaxed and receptive to various fake news and misinformation. Often they come from a single source,” said Kestutis Kudzmanas.
According to the Lithuanian ambassador, while the circulated stereotypes may differ, the goal is always the same - misinformation, create further instability and mistrust in society. It is necessary to explain the misinformation, to fight the myths about the Eastern Partnership, about NATO. Moldova’s defense capacity depends on their debunking.

Kestutis Kudzmanas informed that on November 3 and 4 the Lithuanian Minister of Defense will pay a visit to Chisinau. The official will also participate in events dedicated to the NATO Days in Moldova.

Also during the roundtable, NATO Liaison Office executive director Elena Mârzac and associate expert Natalia Albu launched a brochure titled “Security between stereotypes and realities”. The authors chose ten most common stereotypes related to security and defense, neutrality, perception of threats, the COVID pandemic as a threat to national security, and foreign aid as a tool to ‘control’ Moldova from outside. “The results of the project are a helpful resource for the independent press”, noted political scientist Rodica Panța, the moderator of the roundtable.

Aurel Fondos, of the Agency for Military Science and Memory, praised the brochure. “Now the applicative part should follow: the results contained in the brochure must be capitalized on effectively. In this regard, he proposed corroborating the brochure with other similar projects, which would contribute to “cultivating information resilience in Moldova’s media sector”. A summary of all such projects should be made, which will be useful for planning decisions. The recommendations at the end of the brochure are very useful for the Government of the Republic of Moldova. This activity is promising, said Aurel Fondos.

The roundtable entitled “The impact of misinformation on security and the importance of promoting security culture” was held as part of the project "Strengthening resilience to misinformation", which aims to promote security culture and is funded by the Lithuanian Embassy in Moldova.

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